Bradford Overton | Western Ways: Aritst Reception: Friday, September 18, 2-5pm

1 - 20 September 2020

Solo Exhibition | Jackson, Wy


Altamira Fine Art Jackson is pleased to present a solo exhibition for Utah artist Bradford Overton, opening September 1, 2020. 


Please join us for a Meet & Greet with the Artist during the Fall Arts Festival, Friday, September 18 from 2-5pm.  


If you would prefer a private tour of the exhibit, please contact the gallery (307) 739-4700.



Western Ways

As a native Californian, I consider the coast to be the farthest west you can go. My grandfather—a Californian cowboy— shaped my connection to the Western way of thinking—the freedom, the independence. The West, to me, is a blend. Growing up, I spent summers wherever my grandfather was living. In California, he worked in the orange groves. In Montana, he was mining. My five siblings and I all caught it from him—riding, adventuring. My sister Alicia used to live in Jackson but now has a ranch in St. George, Utah with a herd of wild horses. Eric, my youngest brother, is a MD and filmmaker. His first film, Collodium, is available on Amazon. Greg is a painter and martial artist. He paints American Indian chiefs and warriors, all of which become self-portraits. Alison was a triathlete, and now she organizes races. Steve is a CEO of a tech company. It all goes back to this Western ethos and work ethic. My dad retired from sales, but he still gets up at 6am and does his workout. He wouldn’t let me come home unless I sold a certain number of newspapers. I learned how to knock on doors and get what I wanted. If you believe in what you are doing, why wouldn’t you knock on a door? If you are who you say you are, the person on the other side of the door will receive you well.


It took me a while to come up with a title for this painting. I see it as a metaphor for the dreamer who actually thinks he can lasso the moon. You can’t tell him it isn’t possible—he might even do it—and if he doesn’t lasso the moon, he might lasso the wave. He’s out there trying to do the impossible and will surely find something magical along the way. There’s no point in not trying, that would be a waste of a trip. Think about what you did: You came through the womb, grew up, did all this stuff that was hard, and you’re going to back out now? It’s crazy when people don’t try for what they want. In my view, if you live in the United States, you have the opportunity to make your dreams happen; whatever you want to be, you can do here. That’s what this painting is about. Self-belief is the courage of the dreamer. It’s something I want. I have so many ideas, so many big plans. I’m working on a screenplay for a Western. I’m playing music and writing new songs. I’m in my studio all day. You have to keep a pretty tight schedule to do the things you want. I don’t want to go on vacation, but breaks are good for me because I get inspired. I’m reminded of John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” You’ve got this imaginative inner child with a dream; that’s what you create from. A part of getting something to exist is to think of it and give it energy by believing in it. Faith and imagination: whatever you focus on happens. If I don’t get the moon, maybe I’ll catch that wave. People with their hearts open can relate. If you don’t, move on.


I settled on Highwire because the toy lasso I used as a model was an actual wire. The toy is two inches tall. In my imagination, he is able to toss the wire, lasso the moon, secure the line, walk out over the water on that wire. It’s a high wire act, it’s another metaphor for finding balance when you are doing something tricky. It’s funny because the title came to me in concert with my life. I was out biking with my nine-year-old daughter when I ran into this hippie guy doing back flips in the park on a slack line. I asked him: Do you teach this stuff? Turns out he’s writing three books. I ended up hiring him as my personal trainer. A few weeks ago, we had our last session—he’s moving to Hawaii—and he taught me to walk a high wire. That connection with the painting occurred to me only after. When you are in the flow of your life and you’re doing it right, the synchronicity will show you that you are there.


Pre-sales available.


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