Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

The beauty of the cowboy lifestyle

Briscoe Western Art Museum’s ‘American Cowboys’
Dustin Vickers

“It is wordless poetry. It is theater without audience. It is symphony without strings.”

These are the words of Anouk Masson Krantz, a French fine art photographer and author who, while living in New York City, decided to travel west and capture the modern-day cowboy lifestyle. 

Krantz’s journey, captured through her camera lens, was unveiled at San Antonio’s Briscoe Western Art Museum in the American Cowboys exhibit, which opened to the public on Sept. 29 and will be on display until Jan. 22. 

The exhibit, which lies on the second floor, begins with a short video of Krantz being transformed into the cowboy lifestyle. The video shows Krantz driving in the middle of the desert before hopping out of her car in some regular city clothes.

“When I first started my travels out west, I packed a single hat, European sneakers, jeans and a linen shirt,” Krantz wrote on a note shown in the center of the exhibit.

The video then transitions to Krantz dripped out in cowboy gear, from the ten-gallon hat to the spurs on her boots. After watching the video and leaving the first room of the exhibit, the viewer becomes immersed in Krantz’s modified lifestyle among the dozens of photos on the walls.

When entering the main exhibit, another quote from Krantz is displayed. It read, “I am an explorer. I explore places. I explore people. I enjoy driving unreasonably long distances. I love to exchange with those who are different, those with another set of convictions.”

Krantz’s motive for the travel is simply to show the world that the cowboy culture needs more exposure. From someone who was born and raised in France and then moved to the biggest city in the United States, Krantz became obsessed with the modern-day cowboy lifestyle and wondered to herself why no one talked about this unique and interesting way of life. 

The black and white photos show the complete beauty of the cowboy world. 

Krantz uses a significant amount of white space in her photos to better emphasize the subject, whether it be a cowboy on a horse looking into the distance or a shot of cattle on the field, to help tell the story of how cowboys conduct themselves. From still shots of cowboys on horses riding on their land, to shots of the cowboys winding up a lasso, to cowboys relaxing with their buddies at the pool hall, Krantz’s exhibit caught all the significant moments of this lifestyle. 

“When you watch it, you smell it,” Krantz said in another video of the photo’s impact. 

The shots she managed to capture put the viewer in the moment, almost as if we were alongside Krantz out west. She went on to say this is what made her, and viewers at the exhibit, want more of the image and want to embrace the lifestyle that no one seems to talk about.

Krantz’s exhibit does a great job of bringing an outsider to the cowboy world and taking them on a journey through their life from her camera lens. To better understand the modern-day American cowboy, check out the exhibit at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, and perhaps you will embrace the lifestyle as Krantz did.

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About the Contributors
Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor
Luke (he/him) is an English major at UTSA and is set to graduate in the Spring of 2024. This is his fifth semester at The Paisano and his fourth as the Sports Editor. Along with covering UTSA sports and events, Luke also covers high school sports and local events for the San Antonio Express-News and covers the San Antonio Spurs for The Paisano. He has a huge passion for covering sports and giving his opinion on them. Outside of writing and talking about sports, Luke's hobbies include playing basketball, watching movies and all things outdoors.
Dustin Vickers, Photo Editor
Dustin (He/Him) is a third-year medical humanities major with a concentration in health careers. After graduation, he plans on attending medical school in hopes of becoming an emergency radiologist. When he’s out of the classroom, he is helping run the swim club with his co-president, blasting some sick beats, or looking for a good spot to grub.

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