The photo, currently displayed in Belgrade, Serbia, was taken in Weber Canyon, in about 1992 and features three cowboys riding their horses toward the viewer.
“One of my passions is documenting the West, which I believe is a disappearing West; it is a vanishing cowboy culture,” Marona said. “Growing up in Arizona ... you would see cowboy hats; people walking down the street wearing cowboy hats, and with that came a certain assumption of who these people were, what they did and those kinds of things.”
Marona also works on commercial projects, portraiture commercial studio work, “all those different challenges are fabulous for me because I love the diversity.” His work has been featured in magazines including American Cowboy, Architectural Digest, Outside, Sports Illustrated and Western Horseman. He’s also written his own book, Colorado Cowboys.
The announcement came as a surprise to the Durango photographer.
“We got a letter and the story, as best I can tell you, is that an ambassador saw the image and requested of the state department that they contact us and see if it was available to go into their collection,” Marona said. “What resonated with them is the fact that it was just rock-solid, visceral Americana. They wanted to be reminded of America.”
Marona said prints of the photo will be available starting March 1 at www.americancowboyart.com.