Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Outsider art?

C and I looked through a book tonight which has photos of very unusual art made by regular folks who were compelled to create--some obsessively so. They made sculptures, houses, gardens, "gardens," "parks," and more from items they collected, such as stones, shells, brush, wood, and cast-off things from garbage dumps. They decorated buildings, vehicles, and hillsides, but mainly their own homes. (The brief stories about each artist that accompany the photos are just as intriguing.)

The book, "Self-Made Worlds: Visionary Folk Art Environment," includes Clarence Schmidt's famous "House of Mirrors," the Rev. Howard Finster's "Paradise Garden and Plant Farm Museum," Simon Rodia's "Watts Towers," and Ferdinand Cheval's "Le Palais Ideal." Many of the creations have colorful names: Pull-Tab Place, Rhinestone Cowboy House, The Healing Machines, Litto's Hubcap Ranch, Tony's Fan Fair.

These people are not trained artists by definition of the professional art world. They are called "folk artists" who make "outsider art".

It makes me wonder; if this kind of expression is called "outsider art," then would many blogs be considered "outsider literature"? Are bloggers (who are not "formally" published) "folk writers"?

[About the photo: C built the structure and I shot photos of it, then "Photoshopped" it.]

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