Folk Art Environments
September 8, 2002 11:43 AM   Subscribe

Folk Art Environments What do you get when you combine Folk Art and an entire house or area to play with? You get obsession on display and a fascinating, created world. You may have heard of the Watts towers or the Bottle Village, but have you seen Le Palais Ideal de le Facteur Cheval (in France) or Nek Chand (in India) or the Whirligig Ranch or the Forevertron or the Ave Maria Grotto? If you share Jane's Addiction you may want to consult her directory next time you travel.
posted by vacapinta (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks vacapinta, I never saw the Forevertron before. It's a thing of beauty and wonder, wish the photos were more detailed. My favorite obsessive individual endeavor is The Coral Castle. Ed Leedskalnin claimed to know the secret of the pyramid builders, and some claim anti-gravity, but here's a photo of him using more prosaic means.
posted by gametone at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2002


It always amazes me when I see works of art like this. I admire people with that amount of dedication to something. The closest I've come to folk-art of this scale is the sculpture at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, called the "Great Monument". It's a wonderful work of art.
posted by debralee at 1:50 PM on September 8, 2002


Another good source for this kind of stuff is RoadsideAmerica.com. Used this to plan a cross-country road trip this spring and found gems like the Cathedral of Junk in Austin and Margaret's Grocery in Vicksburg, where the Rev. Dennis is still going strong.
posted by gottabefunky at 3:02 PM on September 8, 2002


Ladeez and Gentlemen, I give you: Fred and Myrtle's Paua House
posted by Catch at 3:17 PM on September 8, 2002


I want to thank all those who posted oddities and to the post itself for a great batch of bookmarks I can use for my site, which has a focuses in part upon such things. I know it is considered poor taste to site my URL and thus I will not. For those interested, try me in the data base for Metafilter, or goggle my name (fred lapides)....Again: this is the sort of thing that makes Metafilter tops in my estimation. And not a troll in the post!
posted by Postroad at 3:59 PM on September 8, 2002


Ah, I love this stuff. Thanks for a great post.
posted by frykitty at 4:47 PM on September 8, 2002


Adam Purple's Garden of Eden once lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, my neighborhood. Adam used to trek back and forth on his bicycle laden with bags of manure from the bridle path in Central park, in his one-man-quest to fertilize these once rubble strewn vacant lots. He made them bloom with fruit and nut trees, berries, flowers and vegetables.

The city bulldozed it in 1986, replacing it with ugly low-income housing. Just prior to that, in an attempt to bring attention to the garden and stop the destruction, he painted purple footprints leading to the garden (with an ingenious roller) all over downtown. My photo. Some current day dreamers are hoping to turn the WTC site into a New Garden of Eden.
posted by gametone at 6:53 PM on September 8, 2002


More cheerleading from me! Great stuff.
posted by sennoma at 7:11 PM on September 8, 2002


I never saw the Forevertron before. It's a thing of beauty and wonder

I agree. It definitely rises above the category of mere outsider art. Here's a bit more background from Raw Vision magazine.
posted by vacapinta at 8:41 PM on September 8, 2002


Where I live, in Baltimore, is the American Visual Art Museum (AVAM), which has both a standing collection and also rotating exhibits of folk art. It also holds evening and weekend seminars and does art cars in the summer.

The most recent exhibit, War and Peace, just ended, and featured works by peoples affected by various recent wars.

I also recall at least one article in the Smithsonian's magazine about great works of flk art, including the throne of god made only from popsilce sticks and cigarette carton foil. Unfortunately it was a long time ago, and I don't have time to look thoroughly for it on the SI's web site.
posted by kalessin at 11:23 AM on September 9, 2002


Interesting Ideas is a good resource for outsider art.
posted by liam at 9:24 AM on September 10, 2002


Kalessin, Here's The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nation's Millennium General Assembly by James Hampton, in an article by Mike Walsh On missioncreep.com. Another article originally published by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has a fairly detailed color photo. When I have the time, I will search for detailed close-ups. This is one piece, where it's definitely not just all-in-the-details, but it's the details you really want to see.

I'm loving this thread, hope it grows.
posted by gametone at 1:30 PM on September 10, 2002


Well, this thread has not grown, but it still holds my interest. I've compiled some Forevertron links and photos in my blog.
posted by gametone at 5:41 PM on September 27, 2002


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