New Sheriff in Town by Josh Tiessen

14th Annual ARC Salon (2019-2020)

Josh Tiessen

New Sheriff in Town

2017

60.96 x 121.92 cm | 24 x 48 in

Oil on Braced Baltic Birch

  • Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc. Award

 A tired general store and post office packed with antiquated amenities, all signs of life have vanished from the Old Wild West. Amidst dust and tumbleweed, enter stage left, the ostentatious double-wattled cassowary. Visiting the ghost town of St. Elmo, Colorado, I imagined a cassowary roaming through, later discovering one had actually escaped from the nearby Denver Zoo in 2011. This anecdote added credibility to my hypothetical composition, even though this bird, related to the emu, is native to northeastern Australia and New Guinea. Standing six feet tall and weighing 120 pounds, its bony helmet-like casque, powerful legs, and blade-like claws have been known to cause human death when threatened. Although the most dangerous bird species in the world, there’s still another species that trumps all… and that is homo sapiens. Due to habitat loss and hunting pressure, this prehistoric-looking beauty may indeed go the way of the dinosaur.