One of the Oak Cliff Four, George Green now calls Cloudcroft, New Mexico home. From the hilltop cabin he built himself, Green recalled his time in Dallas from the 1960s to the early 1980s. We talked about his time in Dallas and his works including The Burial of a Cowboy, installed as part of a rodeo-themed show at the Fort Worth Museum.
Watch the complete interview with George Green on Vimeo.
I had been thinking about doing some kind of piece that talked about death, and then I just turned it into a little burial of a cowboy. I had this skeleton, a medical skeleton, that I bought that was on top of the tomb. It had pictures around the tomb of the skeleton doing various things. He’s on his horse in one of the pictures. He’s in his pickup in one of the pictures, but it’s the skeleton with a cowboy hat on. So it was kind of funny, you know? There was one picture where he had gotten decked in a bar room fight. It was like the life of a cowboy, but I was using the skeleton. I noticed that in some cemeteries they have photographs of the people that are buried there, and so I got into the idea of the photographs of this cowboy and different things happening in his life. Then the tombstones that were around the cowboy had different sayings on them that were curious and humorous. In many ways, the whole thing was a humorous idea, but it was basically humor talking about death. There was a horse’s head above the cowboy, and it was spitting these lassoes out that were attached to all these saddles around the whole environment. It was using some of the icons associated with the cowboy, and using them in this strange, humorous way. I would tend to think that people who saw the piece would say they’ve never seen anything quite like that.