Hannes Schmid, Cowboy, 1999
Courtesy of the artist and Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York and Zurich
Hannes Schmid: Cowboys at Edwynn Houk Gallery through October 29
Swiss-photographer Hannes Schmid (b. 1946) is a media-mediated mythmaker. The creative eye behind those hunky Marlboro Men who ride, rope and sell cigarettes. Back in the day .. . Schmid’s concept of hardcore masculinity entered our consciousness through the tiny television screen at home or loomed large on highway billboards. The Marlboro theme song (can you still hum it?) transported us to a glamorized West. These rugged wranglers silhouetted against the open sky joined with other faux cowboys - Bonanza’s Cartwright family, Roy Rogers and Bat Masterson – to wrest right from wrong. They were our flannel and jeans supermen (albeit invented by urban Mad Men trapped in gray cubicles between lunchbreaks and commuter rides to the suburbs).