“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” - Oscar Wilde
It is nearly impossible to look out at the landscape of the American West and not view it as a piece of art. It is picturesque in nature, from the seemingly endless plains to the rolling hillsides to the calming livestock to the iconic working cowboy in the shadows at dusk. But while this may be undeniable when standing in the heart of the West, your feet firmly grounded in the rich soil among ranchers proudly raising cattle—conveying this sentiment in print is far more difficult. It takes a true artist to capture the emotive nature of the West and portray it through art in such a way that the viewer is as awestruck by the painting as the individual who viewed it in-person. It takes an artist such as Dani Vergés, who creates images based partly in reality and partly in his own artistic world. Inspired by the romanticism of the West, Vergés’ art is an idealistic partnership between storytelling and the Western world. His vision of the West doesn’t fall short of a watercolor dream.
Vergés is a graphic designer and artist who runs a small design studio, slowartworks, with his partner, Joan. He lives near the sea, surrounded by mountains in Barcelona, Spain, and is immensely inspired by nature and people alike. He has always been drawn to the American West—not only to the aesthetics but to the reality of the West, the people who work and care for the land. To Vergés, the West’s dreamlike nature serves a bigger purpose.
We partnered with Dani Vergés to elaborate on the dream of the West through his point of view—by portraying the reality of the West through his artistry.
What is the story behind your art?
“I have always been drawn to the American West. When I was a child, I would watch western films with my grandfather and I would draw my favorite scenes. I still have some of those drawings. I find that there is something special about the scenery and the lifestyle. On one hand there is the aesthetic, but then there is the reality—the people working the land. I was lucky to meet very inspiring people there, and they only made me love the West more: they made it real and a lot deeper.”
What is it about the Western lifestyle that you are drawn to and how does that inspire your artistic exploration of the West?
“Visually, it’s amazing. It touches me. It’s very extreme; it can be really calm and quiet but then extremely wild. I like what it does to you. It sets a particular state of mind. And I feel really inspired by the lifestyle. I met great people there with great values—incredibly hardworking people caring for something bigger than themselves. I try to honor the freedom, open spaces, and relationship between people and the land with my drawings.”
How would you describe the West?
“The land is wild but also romantic, in the way that it touches something inside. It makes you dream.”