Boca Raton Museum of Art
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An Unexpected Examination of American Heroes and Icons at the Boca Museum of Art
Published Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Boca Raton, FL – The myths and realities of American icons are explored in two very different styles at the Boca Museum of Art through December 29, 2013. With an installation of inflatable sculptures, videos, and sounds, a unique look at the iconic cowgirl is presented with the exhibition, Nancy Davidson: Let’er Buck. Questions of what makes a real-life hero are examined through a series of photographs depicting Mexican and Latino immigrants working in New York with the exhibition, Dulce Pinzón: The Real Story of the Superheroes.

Nancy Davidson: Let’er Buck

Experience the sights, sounds, smells, and spectacle of the rodeo in an exhibition devoted to an icon of American culture…the cowgirl. Artist Nancy Davidson, known for site-specific installations about American icons and gender issues, presents an absurdist ode and critique of the cowgirl through sculptures, photographs, videos, and sounds. Her colorful conflations of boots, chaps, balloons, ropes, and sawdust evoke the grandeur of the rodeo as well as comments on the American fascinations with the overly large – the “super-sized.” Growing up in the 1950s, Davidson was inspired by the “can-do” spirit of the cowgirls she saw in Hollywood movies and musicals. Characters such as Doris Day’s Calamity Jane, Butty Hutton’s Annie Oakley, and the gun-slinging Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar stood in stark contrast to the conventional the stay-at-home wife. They were individuals, able to transgress what was deemed acceptable for women. Rowdy and unruly, they were more than equal to men – yet sexy and glamorous, no matter the situation. “Often women discuss their personal concept of the cowgirl as a self-reliant, athletic woman who could ride and rope, showing off their bravery and resourcefulness,” said Davidson. “However, you don’t need a horse to be a cowgirl. My view is very much as an outsider, like many who have imagined themselves as cowgirls.” The provocative titles with which she names her works such as No End to Her, Side Saddle, Carnival Eyes, and Dustup speak to her Feminist and formalist roots, embracing the consistency of change with a wry sense of humor. Davidson celebrates the glamour of the Rhinestone Cowgirl while acknowledging the hard-knock lives of real women in rodeo with a video capturing 62-year-old Jan Youren’s final bucking bronco ride after a 47-year career and a sound piece with anecdotes from real life cowgirls.

Dulce Pinzón: The Real Story of the Superheroes

What is a hero? What is a superhero? In a series of oversized photographs, Dulce Pinzón seeks to shine a light on the quiet heroes who make sacrifices for the good of others. For the artist, the countless Mexican and Latino immigrant workers in New York City, who every week send a portion of their modest income back to family members, seemed like the perfect example of the unnoticed hero.

In her words: "The principle objective of this series is to pay homage to these brave and determined men and women that somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural power, to withstand extreme conditions of labor in order to help their families and communities survive and prosper."

For the exhibition, Pinzón selected 20 workers, dressed them in costumes of popular American and Mexican superheroes that corresponded to their employment, and photographed them going about their usual work day. She identifies each by name along with their hometown, the number of years they have been working in New York City, and the amount of money they send back to their families each week.

Boca Museum of Art

The Boca Museum of Art is one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida, achieving international recognition as a visual arts institution for its dynamic, changing exhibitions from acclaimed artists and distinguished permanent collection. The Museum’s many public programs include artist presentations, family activities, art films, the Annual Art Festival, and more than 100 classes per week at its studio Art School. Museum Auxiliaries include The Artists’ Guild, Friends Auxiliary, and Collectors’ Forum. For more information call 561.392.2500 or visit The Art School is located at 801 West Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, FL 33486.


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