Sci-Fi Western: Curated by Sunny Buick, 96 pgs. By Todd Taylor

Apr 15, 2011

This is a coffee table book, full color, on paper that if you cut the pictures out, you could frame on your wall. The gist is the juxtaposition of science fiction and western imagery, which isn’t as far-fetched as it first may seem. Essentially, that’s what Star Wars is – intergalactic good guys in white, bad guys in black with horses made out of alloys instead of flesh. In the ‘50s, kids were donning either space helmets or raccoon hats and Winston Smith taps that duality seamlessly in two of his collages here. Since there’s such a deep gully of interpretation, my favorite paintings are the ones that go for the not-so-obvious. I was drawn to compositions that seemed to have been done with these two concepts firmly in mind, not just circumstantially (like putting chaps next to a space ship). Particularly, I kept flipping back to Douglas Fraser’s “Dead Astronaut” that shows a space explorer face down and full of arrows and Ron English’s “Alien Cowboy Clown,” which mixes a cowboy-hatted Teletubbie next to an alien, all through what looks like round speaker meshing. Fancy-assed art book, worth flipping through. Immaculately laid out. –Todd (Last Gasp, 777 Florida St., SF, CA 94110)

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