Sculptor, Bradford J. Williams was raised in Eastern Colorado, a place bearing only a geographical relationship to the congested cities of the modern American West. Williams’ childhood reality was that of flat, empty plains and howling cold winters, vivid sunsets flickering on distant peaks and the kind of sharp, clean air that sometimes hurts going down. It’s his early experiences – of cattle drives and country fairs, endless vistas and the small, intimate gestures that bind a hardy people together – that are the foundation of his love for the cowboy and the cowboy way of life.
It’s been said a place isn’t a place until an artist designs it for us. The place that Brad Williams defines takes its cues from the cowboy way of life he lives and reveres. Deceptively simple depictions of small moments, his western sculptures are symbols of our need to believe that another world exists beyond that of our experience – a world that is richer and truer, a world where hard work, trust, decency and strength without excuse aren’t just rumors, but fact. Two cowboys shaking hands over a fence, a faithful horse nibbling the posies a bashful young cowhand is about to present to his girl. Brad’s artwork is a tonic for the soul, full of shared emotion and sometimes shared jeopardy.
Remarkably, Brad is a self-taught artist, but success didn’t come easily. “Each attempt at a bronzed sculpture brought me closer to that reality of becoming a successful, self-sufficient artist. I remember many long nights of sculpting after working all day at something else.” By 1991, Brad was one of the most sought-after artists in his genre and the demand for his work became so great that he finally became a full-time artist. His persistence paid off.