John Moy­ers

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Echoes in paint

John Moy­ers has found a great place to re­side within West­ern art: his work has a tra­di­tional feel to it, es­pe­cially in his in­cred­i­ble paint qual­ity that’s loose and evoca­tive, and yet he has an ex­per­i­men­tal streak in him that pushes his work into the con­tem­po­rary wing of the genre.

“I’ve al­ways tried to do my own thing, to paint dif­fer­ent stuff,” Moy­ers says. “I paint for my­self. And some­times ex­per­i­men­ta­tion comes out of it be­cause I would be bored out of my mind if I couldn’t ex­per­i­ment.”

Moy­ers will have a new show, Echoes of the Land, open­ing June 15 at Maxwell Alexan­der

Gallery in Los An­ge­les. It’s his first solo ven­ture at the gallery, where he has pre­vi­ously had work avail­able in group shows. Of the eight new works that will be avail­able will be new Na­tive Amer­i­can por­traits, and sev­eral new cow­boy paint­ings, in­clud­ing Tur­bu­lence, which shows a rider valiantly cling­ing to his buck­ing horse.

“I try to do one or two cow­boy pieces a year, so when I do them I want them to be very dif­fer­ent. Of course, over the years there has been so many cow­boy paint­ings, so it can be a struggle to re­ally develop a unique paint­ing, so I fiddle with them for a long time. I like this one be­cause it’s a vari­a­tion on the buck­ing horse,” Moy­ers says, adding that he and his wife, painter Terri Kelly Moy­ers, re­cently moved from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Cal­i­for­nia. “The move kept us busy for a long time, so I’m ex­cited to once again doing more cow­boy pieces like this.”

While the cow­boys re­main an im­por­tant part of Moy­ers’ stu­dio, it’s his de­pic­tions of Na­tive Amer­i­cans for which he is most widely known and re­spected. The new show will in­clude pieces such as Chi­nook Winds and Kooteney Man, both of which fea­ture the artists’ ex­per­i­men­tal use of color. In both paint­ings he uses warm col­ors and their com­ple­men­tary hues— in­clud­ing elec­tric blues, lightly ap­plied pinks

and glow­ing oranges—to create magnificen­t por­traits that present these his­toric fig­ures in a more con­tem­po­rary style, one more similar to Andy Warhol than Frank Ten­ney John­son.

“I love play­ing around with com­ple­men­tary col­ors, just re­ally fo­cus­ing on them, even sub­sti­tut­ing col­ors in where they work best,” he says. “This is where ex­per­i­men­ta­tion is re­ally fun for me be­cause I can dial in all these dif­fer­ent col­ors—i use a re­ally high-end color wheel—in re­ally un­ex­pected ways. I’m try­ing to stay away from these ro­man­ti­cized, cook­iecut­ter Na­tive Amer­i­can fig­ures. I want them to feel more spir­i­tual and un­ex­pected.”

Tur­bu­lence, oil, 26 x 24” The Buf­falo Lance, oil, 36 x 36”

The Turquoise Wall, oil, 24 x 24”

Chi­nook Winds, oil, 24 x 24”

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