Wednesday, March 29, 2006

High-Lighting The Sexy Mind: Folk Art In Atlanta and Modern Elsewhere

The nude and the erotic have been subjects of artist since the dawn of time. And while recent times have most thinking that sensual and sexual is mainly the topic of modern/urban artists working in the accepted styles of mainstream art, outsider and self-taught artists have been touching the topic as well.

(Image from Orange Hill Folk Art)

Just such artists are being shown at the Orange Hill Folk Art Gallery and Outsider Art Gallery (Google Map), on the southern tip of Freedom Parkway. We attempted to visit the gallery Tuesday, but it was not meant to be.

1) The website was broken, just kept showing server gibberish.
2) The phone number listed was the fax machine, squealed in my ear.
3) The gallery was closed despite arriving during the hours listed as open, lights off.


Smutty folk art reminded me of the first show I worked when hired by the New Orleans Museum of Art. Passionate Visions of the American South: Self-Taught Artists from 1940 to the Present was a huge folk/outsider art show, and most of the pieces warranted nothing but appreciation. But one work really bothered a security guard. "Adam and Eve" was a graphic sculpture of what they learned once eating the apple, with Adam behind Eve and his "snake" in between. Strangely, based on the complaint from the guard the museum changed the location of the piece from a pedestal to wall-mounted shelf above a door-way.

Our lighting-guy Greg got the last laugh and lit the piece with a very-narrow spotlight that made the Adam's johnson the brightest thing on the wall. Nothing like a bunch of smart-assed art installers.


(Image from Sperone Westwater Gallery)

I love this piece of Wim Delvoye's (and this one) would look to buy them if it didn't clash so much with what my wife likes (and doesn't like). Search the site for more sexual x-ray images. On a much more mild style, his gothic construction equipment pieces (Dump Truck Scale Model, Cement Truck Scale Model, and Caterpillar Fullsize)

One of the best sites for historical erotica is the NSFW Rare Erotica. It covers a huge range of time, and the works are often striking for their graphic nature and very contemporary appearance. I make it a frequent visit.

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