Bull Riders is a series that examines the nature of masculinity and male identity within American rodeo culture. Being on top of an animal fifteen times their weight, a bull rider is required to stay on a bull for eight seconds to be considered for score. This performance in the face of danger is a pursuit of fame, while also serving as a means of living among this young generation of bull riders. A seemingly confident appearance layers over the bull riders’ vulnerability, showing them as both powerful and boyish. The resulting photographs function as a visual narrative that explores the space between confidence and fear.
Jake Dockins (b. 1996) is an American artist who lives and works in Texas. Jake’s work has been included in exhibitions at institutions such as Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (Gimpo, South Korea), 500X Gallery (Dallas, TX), Colorado Photographic Arts Center (Denver, CO), and Houston Center for Photography (Houston, TX). In 2019, a portfolio of Jake’s work received the second-place prize at the Society for Photographic Education South Central Portfolio Throwdown. His most recent publication, Bull Riders, will be self-published and released this upcoming February. Jake is currently pursuing his BFA at the University of North Texas and is expected to graduate in the spring of this year.