Thursday, February 8, 2007

Guernica, Redux

As an art critic, I often hear questions like, "What happened to the idea of Artist as an outsider, as a mirror for who we are?" While you may not find them in the museums that have all too often become toys for their wealthy patrons, it is still possible to find works that speak to that which is savage and free.

1. Thomas Kincaid














We see in this image of "Cobblestone Mill" the classic Kincaid style; brooding yet oddly garish. A sense of dread hangs over the landscape, and we gaze at the cottage as we would an impending disaster, certain of the horror to come, yet unable to look away.

2. Margaret Keane




















Clearly patterned after Dorothea Lange's Depression-era photographic studies, Margaret Keane's "Peek A Boo-quet" captures the loneliness and existential hunger of a declining West. A chilling portrait of tomorrow's lost youth.

3. Sam Butcher
























Few sculptors today can match Sam Butcher for realism and bare-knuckled emotion. In this example, titled "Follow Your Heart," Butcher lays bare the deceit and corruption of organized religion and its handmaiden industrialists. Small wonder that his work has been appropriated by the European anarchist movement.

American artists, throwing themselves into the gears of the machine that is our dying nation, using the tears of their anguish to salve our wounds. Too late, but not in vain.

UPDATE:




















Jennifer notes the glaring omission of Stefano Casali, whose Piss Love shocked the art world. Here we see the continuation of that daring tradition.

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

AHHHHH!!! Thomas Kinkade scares me as do his followers...

And for a second I thought you wrote "Sam the Butcher". I found myself thinking, "Hey! I didn't know he did sculpture on the side!"

I had almost forgotten about Margaret Keane... damn.

Snag said...

There's this whole fascinating story (to me, anyway) about how Margaret's husband, Walter, claimed to be the painter until she proved him a liar by painting in court.

Righteous Bubba said...

Thomas Kinkade: The Painter of White.

Righteous Bubba said...

Long and creepy Keane article in this book.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I do remember that trial!

Wasn't there also a legal scuffle with the "Love Is..." couple? Maybe that was just ownership of the licensing after they split.

teh l4m3 said...

Say what you will about the painter of light -- you'll never take my Hummel figurines!!!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the addition.

Jennifer said...

I believe this was the first comment I ever left on a Snag post. My how time flies...