Imagine a Western with no men - where cowboys became cowgirls, and a shift away from the usual meditation on masculinity brings a refreshing touch centuries after the Western genre began. American painter Felice House has created a feminist take on famous Western characters in her latest series Re-Western, exhibiting at Leeds College of Art this month.

The series includes oil canvas portraits of “female cowboys”, replacing iconic characters from major Western films with female faces. Felice is an accomplished figurative painter based in Texas, who has a passion for drawing women as they see themselves such as in her previous series War Women and Narrative. As a self-confessed fan of Westerns herself, Felice created this series to counter the representation of females from historical and traditional art.

We spoke to Felice about why she created Re-Western and the creative process, her message of gender equality, her passion for painting women who are not ‘consumable’ and how it’s the responsibility of both men and women to redefine what is acceptable images of women.

Image: Virginia Banderas by Felice House, Re-Western

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