The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists (1995)

Genres - Visual Arts  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 54 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This American documentary profiles the colorful life of middle-aged artist Gerald ("The Maestro") Gaxiola who 20 years ago forsook the daily grind of a normal job to become "a Western cowboy," a persona he has cultivated ever since. Gaxiola has created numerous objets d'folkart in that time ranging from painted landscapes to 72 Van Gogh-inspired paintings to detailed, realistic sculptures. Though he has produced many works, and has even dabbled in performance art, Gaxiola refuses to sell his art because he believes that "art is a religion, not a business," and fears that he will be "corrupted" should he sell any of it. As a result, Gaxiola has very little money, but this does not stop him from creating, nor does it stop him from launching periodic paint pellet gun attacks on such "institutionalized" artists as Christo and the late Warhol.

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artist, cowboy