If you lived or traveled through the Fort Pierce region of Florida in the late 1950s and throughout the 60s, you may have had the chance to buy a landscape painting from an African American man, with Upson board as the canvas and crown molding as a frame, and the paint might have still been wet. Unable to get their art into local galleries, this rough collective of 26 self-taught artists peddled their wares to local businesses, through neighborhoods and to tourists. Their style fell out of fashion into the 1980s, but some of the painters persisted. Their style gained new recognition in the 1990s, a handful continue to paint to this day. They are known as The Highwaymen, and their art captures the natural, and somewhat lost Florida of the past. [more inside]
The Eidophusikon, an early form of motion picture, is a theatrical technology developed by fine art painter and theatrical set designer Philip de Loutherbourg using sound, colored filters, mechanical works, light from newly invented Argand lamps, mirrors and more . It was first exhibited at his home in 1781, featuring five scenes of land and seascape. In recent years, recognition of this as an early chapter in cinema history has prompted several institutions to recreate the experience. Among the most successful is the 2005 storm at sea depicted in Eidophusikon Reimagined by the Australian National University.
Martin Machado's short and serene documentary about his experiences working on a container ship. [more inside]
JJ Cromer is a self-taught painter, whose dense, liney work reminds me of Howard Finster and Basil Wolverton.
The Art & Life of Annie Truxell [via mefi projects]: Annie Truxell is a well known painter who has lived a long and fascinating life. Her adventures have been legendary, encompassing Greenwich Village in the 50s, London in the 60s and India in the 70s. She was friends with Franz Klein, Bill de Kooning, Truman Capote, Terry Southern, Mati Klarwein & many other wild & woolly people.
Bohemian owner of bookstore/vintage clothing shop, forced out of his store last year and facing eviction from his basement apartment, is profiled in the New York Times in August 2008. NYT photog notices his paintings, contributes some art supplies and introduces him to a gallery owner. Heartwarming consequences ensue. [more inside]
Peter Doig's White Canoe just sold at auction for £5.7M making it the most expensive work by a living European painter. Gallery 1, 2.
Bassist turned painter Mikey Welsh - of the post-grunge rock band Weezer - is a self taught painter who likes to spread the paint with abandon. He cites Robert Rauschenberg and Jackson Pollock as his inspirations and - while not in their league - one can see that influence. According to Outsider Art. info; "In front of [his] art, its hard to keep physically or mentally still."
This year three first rate Canadian painters have passed away: Kazuo Nakamura (b.1926), was a member of the Painters 11 (flash site, doesn't seem to be working right now, short articles here, and here). Jean-Paul Riopelle (b. 1923) was a member of Les Automatistes whose Le Refus Global helped to completely reshape Quebec culture. Riopelle passed away last March. Finally, Michael Forster (b.1907?) was a WWII vet and a war artist. He passed away in July.
Apropos of nothing, here's some art for yinz. Too many do not know Arthur Dove's work, the earliest American abstract art.