The Way West

Crow Agency, Montana, 2009 thumbnail
Cripple Creek, Colorado, 2011 thumbnail
Grand Island, Nebraska, 2010 thumbnail
Eastern Idaho, 2013 thumbnail
Dalhart, Texas, 2013 thumbnail
Crow Agency, Montana, 2008 thumbnail
Crow Agency, Montana, 2013 thumbnail
Leadville, Colorado, 2006 thumbnail
Henry, Idaho, 2013 thumbnail
Rapid City, South Dakota, 2010 thumbnail
Douglas, Wyoming, 2011 thumbnail
Crow Agency, Montana, 2008 thumbnail
Billings, Montana, 2010 thumbnail
Northern Kansas, 2010 thumbnail
Crow Agency, Montana, 2011 thumbnail
North Dakota, 2011 thumbnail
Central Wyomong, 2011 thumbnail
Waynoka, Oklahoma, 2013 thumbnail
Douglas, Wyoming, 2008 thumbnail
Ogallala, Nebraska, 2011 thumbnail
Nebraska, 2010 thumbnail
Ogallala, Nebraska, 2011 thumbnail
Rodeo, New Mexico, 2013 thumbnail
Waynoka, Oklahoma, 2013 thumbnail
Crow Agency, Montana, 2009
Cripple Creek, Colorado, 2011
Grand Island, Nebraska, 2010
Eastern Idaho, 2013
Dalhart, Texas, 2013
Crow Agency, Montana, 2008
Crow Agency, Montana, 2013
Leadville, Colorado, 2006
Henry, Idaho, 2013
Rapid City, South Dakota, 2010
Douglas, Wyoming, 2011
Crow Agency, Montana, 2008
Billings, Montana, 2010
Northern Kansas, 2010
Crow Agency, Montana, 2011
North Dakota, 2011
Central Wyomong, 2011
Waynoka, Oklahoma, 2013
Douglas, Wyoming, 2008
Ogallala, Nebraska, 2011
Nebraska, 2010
Ogallala, Nebraska, 2011
Rodeo, New Mexico, 2013
Waynoka, Oklahoma, 2013

Crow Agency, Montana, 2009

Cripple Creek, Colorado, 2011

Grand Island, Nebraska, 2010

Eastern Idaho, 2013

Dalhart, Texas, 2013

Crow Agency, Montana, 2008

Crow Agency, Montana, 2013

Leadville, Colorado, 2006

Henry, Idaho, 2013

Rapid City, South Dakota, 2010

Douglas, Wyoming, 2011

Crow Agency, Montana, 2008

Billings, Montana, 2010

Northern Kansas, 2010

Crow Agency, Montana, 2011

North Dakota, 2011

Central Wyomong, 2011

Waynoka, Oklahoma, 2013

Douglas, Wyoming, 2008

Ogallala, Nebraska, 2011

Nebraska, 2010

Ogallala, Nebraska, 2011

Rodeo, New Mexico, 2013

Waynoka, Oklahoma, 2013

In Peter Kayafas’s new exhibition, The Way West, we are confronted with dueling and overlapping realities. We see vibrant, adventurous youth in a context of semi-decay and obsolescence. The photographs of people, especially the adolescents, are hopeful; the teenagers strike universal poses of bravado tinged with sexual awareness. The pictures capture a true cross section of the humanity that dwells in this region—white, Native American and Hispanic boys and girls all seem deeply rooted to the land. They don’t mingle much with each other, but they are all in one pot.  There is certainly a languid ease in the bodies of the Native kids: they are not so much riding their horses as inhabiting them. It’s a reminder of their rightful and ancient place on this land.

Despite the apparent decline of the region in economic terms, the culture thrives in that these people seem deeply connected to their environment and to their traditions. In a curious twist, the kids seem less interested in rebelling than emulating the grownups around them, cowboy hats and all.

The photographs of The Way West don’t answer any questions. They are not made to lecture or theorize. They are simply records of what is and what was, and how these two states often exist simultaneously. They are framed to engage, but the sentiments are ours to shape.

Press

REVIEW: “Peter Kayafas: The Way West @Sasha Wolf” by Loring Knoblauch on Collectordaily.com
REVIEW: “The Way West: Photographs by Peter Kayafas from the Open Road” by Edward M. Gómez on Hyperallergic.com
REVIEW: “Peter Kayafas ‘The Way West’ at Sasha Wolf Gallery” by Amanda Everich on Museemagazine.com
EVENT: Exhibition of The Way West at Sasha Wolf Gallery, New York, opens on April 23rd at 6pm and will be on view through June 8, 2014.
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