As a child, David Levinthal would accompany his mother on errands only if he was wearing his Red Ryder cowboy gloves. “Every morning I’d get up and find my favorite cowboy shirt clean and ready to wear,” Levinthal says. “It wasn’t until many years later that my mother told me that she washed and ironed it every night.” He added, “I am the oldest of four children and was probably indulged a bit more than my siblings.”
It’s the prominent role 1950s-era Western pop culture played in his upbringing that draws Levinthal back to these themes over and over again in his prolific work. He’s added to his The Wild West series five times over the course of his career, many prints and Polaroids of which are now part of prestigious public collections at places like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art. “Sometimes I think I’ve done all the cowboy pictures I want to do,” he says. “But I still have some of the figurines from when I was a kid. And every time I go back and look at them, I see them in a different way and continue to be inspired by them.”
Images from Levinthal’s The Wild West series and his book, History, will be on display at the Julie Nester Gallery (1280 Iron Horse Dr, 435.649.7855) Dec 17–Jan 18. A reception for the artist will be held on December 30, 6–8 p.m.