Wow! The exhibits at the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan, New York, represented various pieces from self-taught artists that were all very distinctive. Each artist expressed themselves through their artwork in the form of suits, boots, hats, coats, and bottles. The artists who were from all around the world mastered the ability to take everyday objects and turn them into something unique, beautiful and very creative.
Photographers and filmmakers captured the very essence of street performances, yard shows, daily rituals, writings, recordings, music or other forms of expressions showcased in the “Curtain Never Comes Down” exhibition. Historically, art gurus were more apt to preserve paintings and sculptures. However, work that is created by self-taught artists has proven to be equally admirable.
The artist’s pieces were inspired by their environment that surrounded them. Some artists lived in poor and oppressed conditions. While others lived in their home, a mental institution, suffered from various ailments or practiced spiritual rituals outdoors while becoming one with nature. Despite the atmosphere, all of them managed to develop a piece of art created from the depths of their souls.
One of my favorite exhibits was the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Pants and Jacket outfit. It was decorated with a plethora of colorful beads, fabric, buttons, toys and a large variety of ornaments. The designer must have been a relatively large man. I assume this because of the height and width of this outfit. When I stood next to it, it appeared that I was five feet shorter and 100 lbs lighter than its previous owner.
Another fun exhibit was by Arthur Bispo Do Rosario. He created the “Boots” exhibit that consisted of three pairs of boots that sit on an almost hidden shelf that had three rows and two columns. Rosario also created a mummified chess board with the chess pieces organized on an obscure shelf. The chess game was a lot larger than the ones purchased in a game store.
Lastly, there was the “Charlie Logan” exhibit that was interesting as well. To prevent himself from being robbed, he would sow his money into various hidden pockets of his jacket. The jacket, accessorized with a matching cane and a walking stick that also had various ornaments and secret pockets. This piece was not as elaborate as the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” exhibit, but it was still very nice.
I wish that I can share photos of these eclectic works of art with you but unfortunately, to protect the creativity of the artists, photographs were not allowed.
Overall, I had a wonderful time visiting the American Folk Art Museum! Don’t forget to check out the “Folk Art and Modernism” exhibit. It will be available for viewing until September 27th.
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