Avant-Art Lassos Wild and Wonderful Photos for Rodeo-Savvy Show Next Month

Avant-Art Lassos Wild and Wonderful Photos for Rodeo-Savvy Show Next Month

'Llano Estacado' by Steve Wrubel

AFTER A 25-year-long career in commercial and fine art photography, “California-raised and Texas-braised” artist Steve Wrubel turned the lens of his camera to a subject he knows best: the American West.

We flagged Wrubel’s work back in 2022, when his stunning photos of riders on bucking bulls and broncos, with the original rodeo backdrops digitally removed and replaced by desert landscapes, were on display for the debut of Ben Berg’s “pop-up” eatery, The Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse. (Which, we’re excited to report, is back for 2024.)

On Feb. 3, Houstonians and out-of-towners will have the opportunity to view this wild body of work when Let’s Ride: A Western Exploration goes up at Avant-Art Gallery. Visitors can meet Wrubel at the opening, and sample the tastes of his wine label, Ride & Ridden, and the Texas-owned label Rose Gold Rosé. The show will be up through Mar. 2.

Wrubel's works at Avant-Art

Capturing these heat of the moment, hyperreal images is a challenge, but one that Wrubel relishes. “Finding a way to get in the dirt without getting in the way and not getting run over by a 1500-pound wild horse is all part of the chase,” says Wrubel, who strives in his rodeo photography to “really feel and become a part of the energy and chaos and turn it into a split-second representation of that amazing dance between man and beast.” Regardless of your level of equestrian experience, Wrubel’s photos will leave you breathless.

Also on view at Avant-Art Gallery is Submersion: The Artistic Odyssey of Hugh Arnold, an immersive exhibit of Arnold’s vibrant and dreamlike underwater photography. The “pop” these large-scale images possess is rooted in the skillsets Arnold developed as a fashion photographer for Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire, and broken up into three “chapters,” address life’s journey, including birth and the beauty and inevitability of growing old.

'Agua Alta, Aparicion' by Arnold

'Agua Alta, Fruition' by Arnold

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