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I'm an Oil Man

I'm an Oil Man

Regular price $ 99,999.00
Regular price Sale price $ 99,999.00
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Marathon, Texas - 2023

56” x 77” Unframed 71” x 92” Framed Edition of 12
37” x 51” Unframed 52” x 66” Framed Edition of 12

Many years ago, we were researching for a project in Marfa, Texas and we discovered an episode of Anthony Bourdain ́s Parts Unknown - filmed in the quirky art town with local bar owner Ty Mitchell. He owned a bar called The Lost Horse Saloon and everything about him and his bar appealed to me, just as it had clearly appealed to the iconic Bourdain.

I went to meet Ty in Marfa and since then we have collaborated many times. He is as authentic as a West Texas cowboy can be and his chiseled face tells a thousand stories. He has played many roles for me - from cowboy to outlaw to Caribbean pirate. Tall, lean and tough, he resembles Daniel Day-Lewis’s character in the Oscar winning masterpiece There will be Blood, which of course was also shot very close to Marfa in 2007.

Daniel Day-Lewis owned that movie and the line his character often used when trying to win over unsuspecting locals was “I’m an oil man”. It was his hope that communities perceived him to be good intentioned and focused on his wildcatting endeavour and missed the avarice that engulfed his personality. Oil was a tough business in West Texas in 1915 and only suited tough people.

Ty Mitchell is now famous. Martin Scorsese also identified the unique set of assets he brings to the table and cast him in Killers of the Flower Moon - alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Ty is not an actor, he simply played himself and Scorsese gave him 17 minutes in the movie. Enough perhaps said.

It is slightly bittersweet; I found him before Marty, but his day rate has now tripled. ~ David Yarrow

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