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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Twenty Five: Stimulating the imagination with “opposites and contradictions” > East meets west, Old State Capitol, Phoenix, Arizona, 2008
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23-OCT-2008

East meets west, Old State Capitol, Phoenix, Arizona, 2008

The oil painting, by Arizona cowboy artist Lon Megargee, was hung in the Arizona State Capitol Building in 1913, a year after Arizona joined the Union. The painting depicts the old west, with its monumental rock forms and an Indian on horseback moving towards us. The painting hangs in one of the old capitol’s tiny offices, now part of an Arizona historical museum. A derby hangs next to it on a coat rack. By leaning as far as I could to the right, I was able to merge the hat into the painting itself, an incongruous juxtaposition of opposing ways of life. The derby evokes the urbane style of 1913's eastern cities, while the painting offers a nostalgic western dreamscape that by 1913 had already become lost to memory.

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Phil Douglis27-Oct-2008 20:37
The frame gives context to the scene, so I kept it in. The contradiction here is the culture clash -- the way of the urban dandy, vs. the way of the Navajo. The left hand portion of the frame must be in the picture in any event, so I included two other edges that create a partial frame within a frame as context.
JSWaters27-Oct-2008 19:28
A 'dandy' has come to visit the old West. I think I would have been tempted to crop out the frame of the painting to produce a more abstract image - leaving in the left side with the hanging hat. Is the frame important to the concept of contradictions?
Jenene
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