William Villalongo, "The Wild, Wild West!", 2007

William Villalongo
"The Wild, Wild West!", 2007

Evoking the last frontier of our distant past, the cowboy diplomacy of our more recent past, and the current craze for apocalyptic visions from anytime and anywhere — Maya to multiplex — William Villalongo painstakingly cuts his subject matter from black velour paper, making a literal if not conceptual negative of a tableau inspired as much by Francisco Goya as by Dr. Strangelove, Mad Max, and other pumped-up vigilantes in the 21st-century war industry. It would be scary if it weren't so funny; or funny if it weren't so scary.