18 August 2008

Folk Art

This weekend Mark and I went to the folk art festival in Norcross.  There were a lot of good things, and a lot of other things.  I will tell you some of what I liked.
  • Mose Tolliver, especially his birds that look like dinosaurs.
  • Jimmie Lee Sudduth, especially his doggies.
  • and John "Cornbread" Anderson.  Jack has one of his guinea hen paintings.  I want it.
In the more modern direction, there were some crafters represented and these two outstanding fine men's work:
John (or Lynn?) Whipple

John (or Lynn?) Whipple detail

I feel like this is a perfect example of the convergence of art and craft.  I've been thinking the past few days about what folk art is, and I guess that's a pretty good definition.  Which makes something like the above seem more like folk art that something by Cornbread, who churns out tons of paintings, many of which look exactly alike.  For example, I saw two paintings that look just like the one Jack has in his living room, down to the positioning of the hens.  If it seems like there is more of an element of craft involved in making something at least semi-new each time.  If you're painting the same thing over and over, there is no risk.  But if each work is an act of creation, you open up a space for the light to shine through.  To this one could say that each act is an act of creation, that that risk is always present.  Maybe so, but it's easier to apprehend in an original than a print?

Originally I was going to take this thought to it's end, but, I don't know, I haven't really felt/beleived it since college and started feeling embarrassed.  So maybe some other time. 

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