Fall 2014, Volume 17

From the Art Editor

What a treat for Verdad readers! 

With no formal art education, and modest mentoring with respect to art materials, the five artists featured in this issue each do what all compelling artists do, present an idiosyncratic, clear picture of their everyday experience in such a way that the rest of us can feel revivified, reminded, reassured that a fresh and thrilling world is ever at hand.  Yes, we can start again, they declare, no matter how dispiriting or banal one's recent experience might have been.

The five artists were selected from the many, many supported by Creativity Explored.  Their 39 images come from 15,000 in that organization's data base.  If these images don't prompt your own narratives, look slower.

For greater context regarding the visual artist without formal training, consider the tomes available about art made in asylums in the 19th and 20th centuries.  There is "Folk Art" that covers an enormous range of peoples working at home to make useful or decorative things that are later valued as art objects.  (Sampler sewers, Grandma Moses, the Gee's Bend quilters, tramp artists, sign makers and weather vane makers are a few examples.)  "Naive" or "Outsider Art" designates people who created obsessively for personal reasons and usually in isolation, their work only being discovered later on, or after their deaths, and then elevated by an art establishment hungry for the new and different.  (James Castle, Henry Darger, Vivian Maier, some public mural and graffiti makers, for example.)  And sometimes the raw power of these arts compels even a well trained artist to effect "the art of no skill," or to deliberately concoct extreme fantasy worlds, odd ideas, mental extremes.  (The painter Jean Dubuffet and Art Brut, for example.)

It is all good, when you grab time for the pleasure of your ongoing education....



                                                                                     — Jack Miller