The Cowboys of Baja

Hi there! Shewanders intern Rachel here.

Claudia, another Shewanders intern, and I were asked by Suzanne to look through photographs she had taken on an artist retreat to La Bellota Ranch in Baja California, Mexico. Claudia and I scrolled and scrolled through these images and curated a story based on what stood out to us the most; for this blog post we gathered our favorite shots of the Cowboys that work on La Bellota Ranch. This was our first task as interns and a time where her and I learned how to work together and how we individually interpret art. I had a strange and detached fascination with that old Western lifestyle so going through these photos was not only fun but incredibly intriguing. I picked up the album Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts a few months back at a record store in Portland and since my car lacks an aux cord and FM transmitters aren’t fun to use I have been listening to this CD non stop. Currently I am counting down the days until I get sick and tired of hearing it, but I don’t think that day is coming anytime soon.

And so we begin, Claudia spearheaded the Instagram posts, I wrote this blog, and together we curated the images.

The artwork to Parquet Courts Light Up Gold album pictures a cowboy riding a bull that’s kicking up its back legs. Under the photo captions “‘Plain dressed, wilted and wired’ Former Dutch Village 1978”.This albums contents come from the western roots of America and these photos from La Bellota Ranch in Baja made me think of nothing but the way this album makes me feel. Lyrically Light Up Gold is not relevant to Baja, but if you just listen to the strums of the guitar and the base lines mixed with the hollow sound of the lead singers voice you’ll feel the dance between the music and the photos. And even if this album isn’t fully related to the western ranch life or America, it is the only thing I can feel when I listen. I like to imagine myself driving in an old blue rusted car with those ripped up canvas seats that are lined with peeling leather. I can see miles and miles of dead grass with hills lining the horizon, it's so dry I can smell the dirt and it’s so quiet I can hear the flies. I’m by myself and im going nowhere, but I am blaring this album through my old stereo.

So I suggest you throw the album on, specifically listen to N. Dakota, track 9, and look through these photos and play the game of connecting unknown music to a still frame of the unknown in someone else's life.

*** At first the thought of writing about images of places or events I was not physically apart of made my head swirl and I lost all confidence that I would have the ability to write anything but a few sentences. However after much thought, and listening, I realized that in the beginning of this task this album was the only thing coming to the forefront of my head. Once I let myself embrace that thought the rest followed and this blog post was born.


The Wanderers: Rachel and Claudia