Boggs Unleashed

The West’s Most Provocative Artist

Thom Ross shares a bold vision of the historic West.

thom-ross_western-artist_due-west-gallery

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Standing outside Due West Gallery,  Thom Ross is packing iron.

Good thing Wyatt Earp and Pat Garrett  aren’t in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or they’d be hauling Ross off to jail for violating that checked gun policy.

Wait a minute. Earp and Garrett—and Billy the Kid,  Johnny Ringo,  Buffalo Bill Cody, even boxer Jack Johnson—are in Santa Fe, hanging on the walls of Due West Gallery, where you’ll also find the artwork of Duke Beardsley, Maurice Turetsky  and others, including Bob Boze Bell (but that’s not why we’re covering this in the magazine).

We’re writing this because we like Ross, his gall and gumption, and his no-holds-barred approach to art and history. “The majority of Western artists are bad historians—if they do any research at all,” says Ross, inside the gallery he started last year. “This is where Western art gets slammed—correctly. Because it’s not art. It’s picture making. Look at an artist like van Gogh, and his painting Corn Field with Ravens.  I love ravens, and I love cornfields. But when he paints it, the painting itself is what’s so seductive.”

Most Western artists will mention Charlie...

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