Saturday, May 12, 2012

Adventures in Folk Art

Does anyone really like the term "Folk Art?" I don't know, but this 1988 oil-on-masonry work by Emma Lee Moss entitled What a Baptisin' brings you into the action from around a bend. It's on exhibition -- part of the Billy R. Allen Folk Art Collection -- at the African American Museum in Dallas.

I'd intended to take photographs of an equally interesting exhibit of "Folk Art" honoring gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, but photos of that privately held collection are not currently permitted. Instead, I received permission to take pictures downstairs among the main collections, as long as no flash was involved. I took two shots of What a Baptisin' before the camera shut down with the message "BATTERY EXHAUSTED." Meaning finito -- needs a replacement. The reflection above is ambient, not flash reverb.

In any case, I really like this painting. Linda (one of my sisters) and Roy (one of my brothers-in-law) showed me a painting in North Carolina with a similar theme, and similar vibe, a couple of years ago.

Does this do anything for you?  What makes art work for you?

Today's Rune: Joy.      


the walking man said...

In this particular piece it depends on where you want to go with it. It qualifies as primitive, lacks technical ability (lines and perspectives are all wrong) but those are the simple mathematics of the painting.

Why this works as ART is that the use of color is balanced, the scene is well placed and the joy of the congregation is evident if you put yourself into it to be a part of the celebration.

I have seen and handled literally thousands of paintings and to be honest I thought about half of them had the math right but the technical wiped out the emotion.

Dada for example to me is about as an emotionless school of art as the world has ever seen and like the beat generation if it wasn't a train wreck people couldn't stop looking at I don't think it would have ever gone beyond the mutual admiration society they both were.

But then the government (Germany Dada) and Beats(American) got involved and they all of a sudden were on the hit parade. Not because of merit but because of controversy.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Like the term primitive art, outsider art does not really do it justice either. I wonder if we need to categorize it at all? What I like about this piece and others like it is it tells a story with color and vigor. I don't much care if it lacks perspective.