Cyrus Walker

Heavy Trip | Acrylic & Oil | 48" x 48"

Artist's Biography

The power of the press and the production of commercial quality art. Cyrus’ work reflects and manipulates the mass produced dime novels and comic books that influenced the themes of the west. The Western art genre is a carful balance of mythology and preservation. 

At some point in the history of the Western art genre there was a removal of the artist capturing the scenes and happening surrounding them and was replaced with the more fictional tales of the west. With help from the enthusiastic collectors and art connoisseurs residing in the eastern United States, the western genre began to take form. It is an interesting form of art because there is just as much fiction as there is fact. The western genre began to embody the ideas that we recognize today. Where men are rough, rugged and chivalrous. Vicious outlaws mingle with proud pioneers at a rowdy poker table and disputes are settled with a gunfight. All while surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and tumbling tumbleweeds. The early western painters paved the way for the phenomenon known as the, “Imagined West”. Their artwork made appearances in national magazines and other popular publications. The eager masses gobbled up the imagery and helped build the “Idea of the West”. These ideas of the mystical and Wild West became solidified as the mass production of dime novels emerged in 1859 by Beadle’s Novel Publishing House.This says a lot for the depth that the Wild West had permeated popular society. There was enough documentation or collective opinion to generate tall tales or factual stories ( it is hard to say which trumps the other) about the happenings of the land beyond the Mississippi. Wether factual or fictional the mass persuasion and shared recollections of the west is what peaked Cyrus’ curiosity. 

Cyrus studied graphic design in school and was fascinated by the power mass produced print products can have on forming the identity of the west. While studying art, Cyrus was also working at an antique store that exposed him to vintage documents and publications that set him on a path to study the widely distributed work. Cyrus’ work is not created in a classical western style. Instead, he uses classic ideas and commercial style to capture and manipulate the, “Imagined West”. 

Cyrus Walker was born in Vermont during the month of January. He started to learn about art and the unique perspective it can provide. He studied under his Uncle who was an Art Director at a respectable advertising firm in Boston, MA. Through the close observation of his Uncle’s work, Cyrus learned first hand how images can be used to speak without uttering a word. It was also through the study of advertising that Cyrus learned about the interesting way commercial illustrators stylize their work.

Cyrus studied graphic design and marketing at Montana State University where he learned about the principals of design. While in school, Cyrus opened a small design company where he had the privilege of working with brands from all around the United States. He has always made a point to incorporate as many analog tools as appropriate while completing jobs in the field of advertising. By studying the work from designers dating back to the 1930’s, Cyrus carved out his own style of illustration and design. His enthusiasm for design is apparent in his fine art.

The shift from design to fine art was a natural one. Many of the principals of design and fine art are the same. It is just the medium that changes. Cyrus currently lives in Montana, and that is probably the reason why he has been focusing on western painting. The western genre is very interesting because it parallels the overall history of art, but it has it’s own time line determined by location. They study of western art is rewarding because of its unique ties to early American history. Cyrus is continuing the narrow time line of American Western paintings.


“It is very difficult for me to write about my paintings. I know that people expect artists to talk about the origins of their ideas that brought a painting into the world, but the thoughts can be fleeting and hard to tie down. The only definitive answer would be to describe the technical aspects of the work.


Honestly, I make my paintings because they allow me to continue to explore a style that interests me. Western themes are interesting to me because they have a bit of mystery to them. The Romans created work in the likeness of their gods. The lingering icons of the American West are a sort of deity to me. The ideas of the romantic west are continually stripped away in modern times, but the pieces that remain are dipped in the purest of gold. I am a proctor, panning in the river of my mind to unearth my gold.

It seems cruel to force a person who is best suited by visual communication to write about the very ideas that he can not describe.” – Cyrus

+1 859-795-9217
+1 716-913-6279


4903 Mayo Street
Cincinnati, KY 45202

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+1 859-795-9217
+1 716-913-6279

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