By Missy Hunter
There isn’t a time when Andy Anderson can’t recall having horses in his life. Being a military child meant Andy and his family moved around from Puerto Rico to Florida to Idaho. Each home brought adventure living in remote areas, with the outdoors right at his doorstep. The family horses, Paso Finos, joined the Anderson family in Puerto Rico and were part of each relocation. The Pasos were some of the constants throughout Andy’s childhood.
Enamored with the outdoors, Andy usually documents pastoral landscapes; traveling to places near and far. He has a particular urgency in his travels; wanting to see the world and capture scenes before the ruggedness of the outdoors disappears. Seeing as horses were practically in his DNA, and his curiosity being the fuel to his photography, he set off to South America to document landscapes, horses, gauchos, and old-style ranching where it all began.
If you traveled back in time, to where horsemen began, you’d find yourself in Spain where Vaqueros wearing ponchos and flat-brimmed hats rode horses and herded cattle. This tradition spread to include Gauchos in South America, Charros in Mexico and eventually Cowboys in the Southwestern U.S. There is a population in the U.S.; the Great Basin, of which Idaho is a part, where the Vaquero tradition still exists – they call themselves Buckaroos. It is the Buckaroo horsemanship and lifestyle in which Andy is accustomed.
Andy wanted to experience what the original horsemen experienced, so he chose to travel to Argentina to document Gauchos as this is a country where they are still held up as a national symbol. His first stop was the Corrientes Province where he took in the stunning landscape, beautiful horses and Gauchos who live off the land.
Andy could not have endeavored this personal project alone. It was a collaboration with several people consulting with location, PA work, shooting video and production. This journey has added more richness to Andy’s childhood memories and broadened his appreciation for what it means to be a Gaucho. It is only the beginning though. Andy plans to visit the drastically different landscape of the Patagonia region in Argentina/Chile and to spin another tale of the Gaucho story.
Andy feels that along with being a photographer, he has a responsibility to use this powerful tool to tell stories about the joy of discovery that this curiosity offers. Follow Andy on Instagram to see the results of a photographer living a life committed to the outdoors, making images that reflect the truth as he sees it; rugged, mysterious, and all the time mythical.