The Subconscious History of a Prowler
A friend from graduate school, who lives in India now, recently posted this Remington image to my Facebook page (miracles of modern media). I was familiar with the image, partly because I went through a period of investigation of Remington’s work early in my education as a painter, partly because I wrote a paper for an Assyrian Art History class during my undergraduate studies comparing the Assyrian Conquest reliefs with Remington’s cowboy paintings (also about conquest), and partly because I tend to notice anything with a wolf in it. But what didn’t occur to me, until recently, is how I had internalized the image and regurgitated it, unconscious of how much I owed to Remington. It is not uncommon, when you are somewhat obsessed with wolves, to come across photos of wolves from trail cameras which I very much attributed as the inspiration for this image. But I think there’s more to it. I think we are what we see and perhaps that should teach us something about how we spend our time looking and what we choose to visually absorb.
(Remington courtesy of Art History News Report; Trail Camera Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; TINAW Prowler, ink on Arches, copyright N. Gannon 2013).