The West Goes Pop!

Featuring the paintings of Chuck Middlekauff, “The West Goes Pop!” opens on October 2, 2020, at Sorrel Sky Durango, located at 828 Main Ave. Middlekauff’s unique, sometimes humorous, sometimes sentimental vision of the American West can be seen in person or enjoyed virtually on our website. The show, including new works, continues through October 31.

Since each painting seems to have a life of its own … it’s fun for me to see what develops.

Chuck Middlekauff
The West Goes Pop! by Chuck Middlekauff

“The West Goes Pop!” will include several new paintings reflective of Middlekauff’s current style, featuring cowboys, boots, pop culture, some surprises, and some spattered paint. “I’ll no doubt have a good dose of Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol inspiration, mixed with my own take on the things I love.” The artist hopes to convey the way he feels when he’s painting, listening to the energetic sounds of classic rock-and-roll, and country-rock music. Middlekauff often includes layers of details for viewers to discover the longer they look. To give the impression of a painting of a painting in progress, he may leave part of the painting unfinished with some areas of the canvas and drawing exposed. He then finishes up by painting images of his brushes, tools, and other debris that usually accumulates while he works. “Since each painting seems to have a life of its own … it’s fun for me to see what develops. What I’ve researched, traveling on American roads, and browsing through a lot of art, emerges as I add images and decide what happens next.”

Middlekauff can be found either cruising the streets of Austin in his bright yellow 1973 Corvette or traveling across America with his wife Carol. If not out exploring, he’s spending time researching photos, books, and magazines, getting inspired by what he sees, thinking of new ways to combine images of cowboys, rock and movie stars, food, signs, diners, cartoon characters, and other things he loves about America. If he’s not doing that, he might be picking out old rock-and-roll tunes on his Fender guitar. Eventually, he can be found in his studio, at his drawing table painting, finishing off each piece with a dynamic pop art boldness. 

Dr. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club by Chuck Middlekauff

“Chuck’s imagery conveys a sense of joy and fun, but it’s also clear that he’s intent on ensuring that we don’t forget the West of yesterday. He wants us to smile, reflect, remember, while at the same time be in and enjoy the present moment.”

Shanan Campbell, owner of Sorrel Sky Gallery

For a few more Middlekauff insights, check out this article in the October 2020 issue of Southwest Art.