California artist Lisa Kokin repurposes vintage lace and doilies to construct frilly looking cowboys. Filled with gossamer cowboys carrying ineffectual guns, her Lace Cowboys series takes aim “at the myth of the cowboy and its use by opponents of reasonable gun control laws, who argue that gun ownership is part of our American heritage.” One macho cowboy shoots little fabric hearts out of his revolver, while another shoots pink pompoms. Whether you believe in the unfettered right to carry firearms or not, Kokin’s keen craftsmanship is undeniable.
While Dumpster diving for “feminine fabrics,” Kokin also reclaims discarded books and repurposes them into art. She shreds, pulps, sews, staples, and glues book spines and covers and then weaves them into wall installations. Her woven works with text and image cast intricate shadows onto the walls. (Mostly shadows of branches–a references to the origins of books as trees.) A collection of her lace cowboys and altered books is on view at Boise Art Museum, until April 27, 2014.
Lisa Kokin, Cowboy #2 (Grapeleaf), detail, photo: lisakokin.com