Jon Flaming: Modern Cowboy at The Gage

Houston / Marathon, Texas—This Holiday season, Foltz Fine Art joins The Gage Hotel in presenting Flaming: Modern Cowboy at the Gage’s V6 Collection and Coffee Bar, on view through the Spring.


This holiday season, Foltz Fine Art (formerly William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art) of Houston teams up with the prestigious Gage Hotel to present Jon Flaming: Modern Cowboy at The Gage, featuring contemporary western-inspired works by the renowned Dallas artist.  On view at the Gage's V6 Collection and Coffee Bar in Marathon, this exhibition features an incredible group of recent paintings and prints from his latest series which reimagines an important American icon through a combined process of digital design and oil paint. A working process that evokes Henri Matisse’s cut-outs and David Hockney’s digital drawings. Flaming has embarked on an ambitious subject: the American cowboy, an icon that combines myth, legend, reality, and childhood play. Through simplification of the forms the Cowboys become iconic characters who wrestle with livestock, land, and elements. They drip sweat from the noonday heat and keep watch at night by light of the crackling campfire. The canvases incorporate Texas cultural markers like rattlesnakes, grackles and prickly pear cacti to help shape the visual landscape. The works create an active narrative of the Modern Cowboy.


“I truly want to be distinctive stylistically,” he says. “A number of the early Texas artists were painters in the middle part of the 20th century. I was influenced by those artists, but I’m also influenced by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin and even Pablo Picasso.”


Indeed, in looking at Flaming's portraits in his newest series, Modern Cowboy, you’ll find his shadow-faced subjects crouched and bent, wrapped inside the paintings’ tight borders, reminiscent of Picasso's vulnerable female figures.


“You’ll notice Cubist influences in my art—they’re very graphic,” says Flaming. “Creativity is by subtraction for me. In many of my pieces, you’ll see things boiled down to their most simplistic shapes. …It’s cowboys sitting on horses, or a cactus in the background, you can still see that. If you pushed my art two or three steps more, though, you would go toward big chunks of color that could become abstraction.  I’m trying to make a break with traditional Western art. I have an appreciation for the Western artist, but it all starts to look the same. I want to set my work apart and do something that, in my mind, is Texas art but is very distinct from the cliché Western art look.”


Flaming is also a former graphic designer, working with corporate clients such as American Airlines, Dell, FedEx, Frito-Lay and Neiman Marcus. His art and design practices inform each other. In fact, this artist uses modern technology to create his color studies for paintings depicting ranch hands, historic dance halls and the shades of the Texas sun.  Flaming’s distinctive style has earned his work placement in permanent collections including the Grace Museum in Abilene, the Tyler Museum of Art and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, as well as many prestigious private collections.  With the support of his city and state, Flaming continues to push the boundaries of what Western art can be. His work is a testament to the famous Lone Star state-of-mind—proudly independent while steeped in tradition.


Coinciding with the Gage’s exhibition in Marathon, Jon Flaming: Westland, a solo exhibition at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, is now on view through Spring 2021. For those on a West Texas sojourn this holiday season, a visit to see Flaming’s Modern Cowboy is not to be missed.  




Installation Images