Justin Beckman

Eight years ago, Justin Beckman moved from Los Angeles to Ellensburg, where he developed an enthusiasm for rural living and, in turn, the Old West. “I’m a city boy with country boy tendencies,” he says. “I’m never going to have the authenticity that someone born and raised in that environment does.” However, he bridges that that pesky authenticity gap via pop culture and Photoshop in “Dimestore Cowboy.” Large, glossy photos show Ronald Reagan and George Montgomery coolly rearing back on their horses and drawing their .45s—with Beckman’s face hilariously superimposed atop theirs. The artist also insinuates himself into an old Richard Prince collage and a soft-porn tableau. But best of all is a convincing video projection that shows a cavalry galloping after the fleeing artist. Undaunted, he twists backward on his horse and shoots at them. The scene looks strangely familiar. “I filmed myself and spliced the footage with Stagecoach,” Beckman admits sheepishly. “That should actually be John Wayne.” ERIKA HOBART

Thursdays-Saturdays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: Jan. 7. Continues through Jan. 30, 2010

 
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