Act 1: From Dust

Shawn Campbell

“The myth of the American cowboy was cultivated from dust, pushed west and back east. Cowboys have been recorded on the pages of novels, projected on silver screens, and broadcasted across radio waves; all while being consumed, sold, and romanticized. Illusions have given the cowboy a foundation in the handbook of promotion, either selling you objects or presenting an idealized image of America. This artificial representation of the cowboy in reality was a laborer, traveling in groups on seasoned trails. He almost never carried a gun and was mostly represented by immigrants and people of color. Through this fabricated appearance, the myth of the American Cowboy has cross pollinated by pushing itself all over the world, creating an icon of American capitalization, and cementing itself into the historical canon.”

Act 1: From Dust

Untitled, 2023, Mixed material object, 6 x 5.75 x 1 in

Website-4 (1)

Simulated, 2023, Mixed material object, 28 x 32 x 7 in


Artist self portrait

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Shawn Campbell is an artist located in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned a bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in photography from The University of Akron and a master of fine arts with a concentration in studio art from The University of Georgia. Campbell’s work engages with mythology, propaganda, consumerism, and social class by exploring their threads while also weaving them together to form and uncover unexpected relationships. Campbell has shown regionally and nationally, including at MOCA GA (2022), Contemporary Art Toledo (2019), Zeitgeist Gallery (2022), ROY G BIV Gallery (2023), and The End Space (2022). Campbell was a 2019 recipient of the Idea Capital grant, and attended the Stove Works residency in 2022.