Thursday, May 13, 2010

folk art fun

Uno's stitchery reminded me of my love for folk art, a form I appreciate mostly because it's created by a lot of regular "folk" (har har) who have an innate need for real and honest creative expression. It lacks the pretentiousness of some contemporary art -- which often seems to me like a lot of posturing.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is just a short metro ride away. Here are two art pieces I like to visit:

(Hawkins Bolden, Untitled, 1987
wood, cloth, galvanized iron, and straw)
"Bolden, who is part Creole and part American Indian, protects his beloved garden in Memphis, Tennessee, with scarecrows he constructs from washtubs, clothing, coffeepots, and other cast-off articles. Although he was blinded in a baseball accident as a child, his figures often convey distinctly human body language. This scarecrow, for example, seems to slouch lazily in its ladder back chair."

(Irving Dominick, Marla, 1982
galvanized iron)
"After a lifetime of fabricating gutters, roofs, ductwork for heating and air conditioning systems, and 'anything else that could be made from metal,' Dominick began making art. Taking a cue from a large tin figure that served as an advertisement on top of his father's sheet metal shop in the Bronx, Dominick began fashioning nonfunctional, imaginative forms. Marla, with her pursed lips, frizzed hair, and curly eyelashes, is an imaginative portrait of his ten-year-old granddaughter."

Weird? Yes. Hip? Not at all. Moving? Definitely. It's the narrative that grabs me -- I picture Bolden feeling around his garden at mottled tomatoes, pocked and bruised, muttering to himself: damn birds. He gathers miscellanea and after much thought begins fashioning a new friend.

1 comment:

  1. i love the image that you paint of Bolden. I never appreciated this stuff until you told me what you loved about it. thanks jeans