Headlands Center for the Arts

Brad Kahlhamer

new york | visual
Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship Program 2016

Artist Statement

Though based in New York, my practice has long been rooted in the West. I grew up in Tuscon, where nomadic encounters in the Sonoran desert were some of my earliest creative triggers. My self-styled “yondering” explorations through Arizona’s landscape of extremes, the Midwest, and NYC’s downtown scene have resulted in a body of work comprised of urban street culture, music, cinema, Native American art and the painterly concerns of West Coast lyrical abstraction.

While at Headlands

I’m excited to be at Headlands around the same time my latest sculptural work, Super Catcher, will be on display at SFMOMA. The idea behind this work—a mass accumulation of wire dream catchers—was to take every dream catcher in the United States, whether it’s on a pickup truck or in a single wide trailer or on somebody’s bicycle or baby crib and bring them all together in a sort of cosmic net that functions like an enriched dream reactor. It’s a massive constellation of spiritual bling.

At Headlands, I hope to further animate my work by revisiting its source. Painting under pure Western light will be a treat, and I’m eager to see my East Coast punk sensibilities collide with Pacific Rim culture and the tradition of West Coast abstraction. It’s going to be a grand experiment.

Selected Works