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Thread: what does folk-art mean to Americans ?

  1. #1

    what does folk-art mean to Americans ?

    i'm interested to get insight from American forum members on the modern sense of folk-art, created in America in recent years.

    sure i can wikipedia it and be directed to hyperlinks, but it would be interesting to hear more about it, personally from the artists here.

    as a european i have seen some examples of paintings referrred to as folk-art. i have a friend in the southern US who works in this style and tells me it has a buying audience, doing quiet well in some provincial galleries.

    the pictures i have seen appear kindof charmingly naive - deceptively as the style seems also to have a kind of power. this appeals to me as i enjoy and work a lot in an expressionistic way with my own pictures.

    if you make it, what interests you about it? what's the cultural sense behind it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    A really broad area, and shamefully one that I do not explore very often. There is such a broad diversity though it would probably yield amazing finds just to poke around in that area.

    I usually think of Currier & Ives, Grandma Moses and African American folk art, but I also think of Thomas Hart Benton which is amazing stuff.

    I love the Americana farm scenes usually typified by being rather two dimensional. One thing not so naive about American folk art is the use of color which is often amazing and the sense of composition. While they may not be entirely accurate in perspective they do seem to have an inane sense of composition. I am going to definitely have to explore more because there is really some beautiful stuff out there.

    There is also the Hudson River realists that really should be considered folk art but they don't look naive at all.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. #3
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    There are several artists on this forum who work in primitive or folk art style, and their efforts are as good as anything I've seen in the marketplace.

  4. #4
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    That's a very good point Doc. well spoken.

  5. #5
    hey thanks for the replies guys! i will google those artists you reference GZ thankyou. as you mention Doc, i see some pictures here on the forum and that got me to think about it some more. the emphasis away from strong realism and strict perspective is something i like about these kinds of pictures quite a lot. i also have seen pictures of everyday scenes that are urban rather than rural. those are funky and edgey - with a kind of Pop Art attitude. now i think about it, there's a Peter Blake painting and also a Talkiing Heads album artwork in a similar (or derivative?) style.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Dear Frame, here is a nice link to some folk art information, Best Wishes!

    www.folkartmuseum.org

  7. #7
    hey Lee, many thanks! i'm surfing the site now "Folk ArtRevealed".
    i'm already seeing that it's a bigger umbrella of styles and imagery than i previously realised. North America being as much a continent as a nation, there's a diversity and broad developmen over time in the art, something similar to European art's evolution during the last few centuries. thanks again!!

  8. #8
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    And since you said American, we should also include Latin America and South America. Now you are talking about a fine collection indeed.

  9. #9
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    I haven't seen Evert on the forums lately, but she is one of our best practitioners of the primitive style. Here's a link: http://www2.ambientdesign.com/galler...imageuser=8238

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Colorado
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    When I hear Folk Art a picture of the classic "American Gothic" pops into my mind, but I think that is true of most folks - even the none-art types. Clementine Hunter is another interesting self taught folk artist. She was raised on a plantation and her artwork has a colorful primitive style to it. What is interesting about her work is how she depicts (paints) the various people in her paintings. My mother in-law visited her studio and has a couple prints of her work.

    ---This thread got me on a role searching the back alleys of the internet finding and learning all kinds of things about folk art... Thanks!

    Clementine Hunter
    "The significance is hiding in the insignificant. Appreciate everything."
    Eckhart Tolle

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