A man named Pearl
May 16, 2007 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Pearl Fryar just wanted to win Yard of the Month back in 1984. Today his Bishopville, SC garden may be the most original example of outsider art in Southeastern America, and a tourist destination in it's own right.
posted by 1f2frfbf (22 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Very cool.
posted by ND¢ at 7:34 AM on May 16, 2007

Thanks for this. It's going in my "tourist destination" bookmarks. I love going to see stuff like this when I travel.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:39 AM on May 16, 2007

I really like this. I've always wanted to fill my yard with shrubbery polyhedra.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:52 AM on May 16, 2007

His name is Pearl. He's a gardener. Now that's a guy who's secure in his manhood. Good on him! Lesser men named Pearl would've ended up overcompensating or shooting their daddy.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:55 AM on May 16, 2007

Oh, and cool yard.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:55 AM on May 16, 2007

So freakin' awesome.
posted by smackwich at 8:12 AM on May 16, 2007

That is not too far from where I live; it definitely looks worth a side trip when I am in the area.
posted by TedW at 8:33 AM on May 16, 2007

Yup. Good old Lee County. The pride of South Carolina.

And people thought there wasn't much to the place after that whole Lizard Man mess died down. That was back around Scapeore swamp. Scapeore = escaped whore, it got its name when, well, you can figure it out. If I've got it right in my head that's not too far from Pearl's place.

Lee County is the only place I've heard of that within a 20 mile radius or so has a medium security prison, with a maximum security wing, a solid waste disposal facility, and a nuclear power plant.

Just wanted to share a little of the local flavor. After all, I'd put the over/under for something located there to make the MeFi front page at right around 6.5 years. It would probably be for something crime related, or maybe an 'expose' on public education.

And yes, Pearl Fryar does have a fantastic yard.
posted by BigSky at 8:40 AM on May 16, 2007

It's like a topiary version of Watts Towers. Very cool.
posted by inthe80s at 8:47 AM on May 16, 2007

I keep meaning to drive out there one Saturday. Apparently, you just show up at his house and he's happy to see you.
posted by chiababe at 9:18 AM on May 16, 2007

Ah, Bishopville. Small-town South Carolina. Sigh.
posted by pax digita at 9:19 AM on May 16, 2007

Neat. I was just thinking about awesome yards like this after I saw the Flower Man at the Houston art car parade this weekend. Nice to see more!
posted by found dog one eye at 9:24 AM on May 16, 2007

Holy crap that's cool. I always thought topiaries--while appreciable in their difficulty to create and maintain--were kind of silly. But Pearl's made some gems out of shrubbery. I love this abstract/pagoda/pyramid hedge.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:26 AM on May 16, 2007

Very nice, thanks 1f2frfbf. I’m reminded of François Houtin’s artwork.
posted by misteraitch at 10:46 AM on May 16, 2007

Saw the documentary back in October, and it was very well-done. Hopefully it'll get released on DVD or shown on cable or put online or something, as it deserves wider exposure.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:20 AM on May 16, 2007

What makes him an outsider artist?
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:56 PM on May 16, 2007

The fact that he has no formal training, primarily.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:58 PM on May 16, 2007

And if you were riffing on the fact that his work is done outside, then I'm just dense today. Feel free to ignore me.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:01 PM on May 16, 2007

The topiary house number near the curb is awesome. Completely. I'm not so sure what's terribly "original" about topiary, though...?
posted by scarabic at 3:28 PM on May 16, 2007

No, DevilsAdvocate, I was genuinely asking. I had been under the misapprehension that outsider art meant crazy people or something.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:17 PM on May 16, 2007

It did, at one time, apparently.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:20 PM on May 16, 2007

Wonderful. Thanks for pointing this out.
posted by fieldtrip at 10:24 PM on May 16, 2007

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