Brad Kahlhamer was born in 1956 in Tucson, Arizona to Native American parents and later adopted by a middle-class German-American family. He earned a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1982 and is represented by Deitch Projects, NYC, and Kantor/Feuer Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.
Central to Kahlhamer’s work is his compelling life story. He grew up without knowledge of his tribal heritage. In reaction to this, his work explores his own displaced Native American identity as well as the influence of tribes, past and present, on mainstream American culture.
Kahlhamer draws images related to the visionary tradition of American indigenous art. His inspirational sources are country western and Native American rock music, which add to his personal iconography. At the Neiman Center Kalhamer produced a series of prints entitled Skull Project in which the artist worked in drypoint and etched line. The series presents images of Cherokee female figures with guns inter-dispersed among portraits of mythic animal heads: bison, owl and wolf.