Cowboy Loy was born on Old McDonald Station in Central Australia circa 1941 and is the younger brother of Utopian artist Louie Pwerle. His name is attributed to his reputation as a stockman on Central Australian properties and his cowboy attire. Cowboy is an Eastern Anmatyerre speaker with his traditional country lying on the Western side of the Sandover River on Utopia Station. Married to sisters Carol and Elizabeth Kngwarreye, he resides mostly at Mosquito Bore (Lytntye), however also spends time at Boundary Bore on the western boundary of Utopia land and Soakage Bore (Atnarare), south-east of Lytntye.
His paintings depict “Arnwengerrp” or Bush Turkey Dreaming represent the travels of the Bush Turkey throughout the artist’s homelands at Utopia in Central Australia. This is an important story that has been passed on to Cowboy by his father; this story is now being passed on to Cowboy’s grandson.
In 2009 and 2012 Cowboy was a finalist in the prestigious Blake Prize for Religious art.