Cowboy Code.

Photographs by Wouter Deruytter. Text by John Wood.
Arena Editions, Santa Fe, 2000. In English. 132 pp., 71 duotone illustrations, 9¾x10¼".

Out of Print

Poor condition (spine separated from boards, light corner bumps; interior otherwise Fine) in Near Fine dust jacket  (moderate surface wear, corner bumps, and stray surface marks)

Publisher's Description

Belgian photographer Wouter Deruytter is well-known for his images of people in the masks and costumes of their identity from the time-traveling duo McDermott & McGough, to drag queens, to circus performers, and on and on. Now Deruytter has turned his attention to the American West. For the past three summers he has been photographing cowboys and small-town rodeos in Montana.

The rodeo cowboy is an omnipresent image in American culture, a modern-day folk hero and the subject of plays, movies, television, novels, and all the other arts. But in these photographs from small, noncommercial rodeos, Deruytter reveals something we have not seen in most other depictions. Cowboy Code is a collection of probably his most joyous and inspiring images, a book of cowboy knights who have traded tournaments for rodeos, helmets for hats, and armor for leather.

Deruytter's cowboys, however, are not one-dimensional anachronisms. They tell a great mythic tale, but they also suggest several historical parallels and force us to remember vanishing things we like to think of as permanent American values. They carefully document the small-town rodeo, and finally they exude a sensuality and youthful elegance these cowboys may not be aware of. When we look at Deruytter's cowboys and rodeos, we know we are witnessing rituals. These are eloquent and sensual images that bring to light another side of the cowboy myth in America.

Wouter Deruytter was born in Roeselare, Belgium, on February 1, 1967. Having attended the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Ghent, Deruytter went on to study with Nan Goldin, Duane Michals, and Bruce Weber as an international scholarship student at New York's ICP. Since that time he has exhibited in such prestigious venues as Marlborough Gallery, Robert Miller Gallery, and the Fondation Cartier. His publications include Brussels (1990), McDermott & McGough: Anachronism Abroad (1994), and Wouter Deruytter: Knights of the Impossible (1997).

'Far from the stuff of dusty legend, cowboys are alive and well in these animated shots.'
—Conde Nast Traveler

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