Rackstraw Downes Paints West Texas

Rackstraw Downes Texas Hills

Rackstraw Downes in Presidio, Texas. Production still from the series Exclusive. © Art21, Inc. 2013. Cinematography by Bob Elfstrom.

“The American romance with the untouched landscape is sort of foreign to me. I like the landscape that has been modified.” —Rackstraw Downes

In today’s Exclusive, filmed in late 2010, artist Rackstraw Downes discusses his interest in painting altered landscapes, such as the sand hills overlooking Presidio, Texas where ATV tire tracks cover the ground and a cell tower rises in the distance. While packing up his oil paints and easel after a day of working en plein air, Downes reflects on how growing up in the United Kingdom influenced his perception of the American West. Downes is shown working on Presidio: In the Sand Hills Looking East with ATV Tracks & Water Tower (2012).

Ian Forster is ART21's associate producer. He joined the staff in October 2009, first working on ART21 William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible and subsequently ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 6. In addition to his work on ART21′s broadcast programming for PBS, Forster oversees the Web video series ART21 Exclusive and ART21 Artist to Artist and is deeply involved with ART21 New York Close Up.
  1. Pingback: Socrates & Associates | Rackstraw Downes Paints West Texas

  2. Rackstraw Downes is absolutely amazing. I saw a show of his work in the Portland Museum of Art last year (or was it two years ago) No image on the internet can come close to showing how amazing these paintings are in real life!


  3. Ryan says:

    I don’t know how I found this but it is amazing. Thanks for sharing.



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