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The Fine Art of Texas Longhorns
Texas Hill Country art aesthetic has always revolved around capturing the open countryside; the infinite Texas skyline, its vast plains, cactuses, bluebonnets, and its signatory cowboy living. Consequently, Texas has become a home to a majority of Texas landscape and realism painters that prefer to spotlight that sometimes frightful, menacing, resilient yet spiritual animal- the Texas Longhorn, a breed of cattle known for its characteristic horns, which can extend to 7 feet tip to tip.
Regional masters of the Longhorn painting genre include Texas painter, Ragan Gennusa; “the dean of Texas painters”, Frank Reaugh; and semi-abstract expressionist painter, LeRoy Neiman. Add to the ever expanding roster of artists mesmerized by the Longhorn- Cliff Cavin. More known for his simplistic landscapes, Cavin is a purist, dedicated to the capturing of light, of atmosphere, of sub-stratospheric heavens. However his new series of longhorn cattle is surely something to note.
Cavin’s new work is all about discovering the longhorn cattle that thrive in the environments and landscapes that he typically paints. Deterring our attention from his once eminent skies and atmospheric accentuations, Cavin uses his technique for capturing light and prominently displays the muscular structure of the longhorns and its signature head ornamentations. Spare cactus litter the semi-arid landscape as his animals make their way through their daily strides into the grazing grounds of Texas Hill Country.
We see a hint of Cavin’s cool heavenly palette in minimal backgrounds, purely compositional elements along with heavily trodden footpaths and silhouetted wheel ruts that helps guide the eye back to the pallid longhorns; an animal inviting the viewer into a sometimes hostile pen.
Cavin is currently working on his Longhorn cattle series for his upcoming national museum exhibitions as well as a spotlight viewing during the November Second Saturdays in Boerne, Texas- Nov. 10, 2012 at J.R. Mooney Galleries, Boerne, TX.
© Gabriel Diego Delgado