What Makes Folx Art?

There are a few languages in African communities as well as in American Indigenous communities where the word “art” does not exist… visual thinking is a way of life, of living, of storytelling, of function. There are examples of this all over the world going back thousands of years. “High Art vs. Primitive Art”? Attributing categories to creativity based upon an elitist eurocentric view is hard for me to digest.

Why is art history something to teach? Why do we not look now and forward for the current and/or contemporary ways of visual communication? What goes in the masters wing of a floor of any given museum? What is and is not a museum?

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What comes out of a child’s mind… or a bathroom… can be a great inspiration

One of my children, from being a toddler would pause, maybe in the middle of dinner, and just stare at the tree outside of our window. Two siblings would notice and want to comment, but I nipped it in the bud at first glance. This is a process that should not be interrupted. What is going through the mind when we stare? The two siblings did not do this so these were magical moments for me.. looking from a distance and marveling, wondering about the visual mind. This same child, one day, as I watched some brainless television show, was walking back and forth, back and forth, and once in a while going into the bathroom. An hour or so later I noticed perfectly formed little paper bowls made out of toilet paper which had been made wet and compressed into bowl shapes. They were all had the same diameter and depth. Each bowl was placed to the right side of each window sill, exactly one inch from the window frame.

It just happened. It came out of the young mind. It was important to do. Was it connected to staring? Maybe a level of vision that just had to be expressed in a tangible way with medium(s) easily available.

I had much respect for that and the bowls stayed on the windowsills for a long time. “Masterpieces”? Nah, they just came out and I have much respect for the not staged, the lack of a “still life”, the random, the spontaneous, the “have to get this out of my head” way of thinking.

Am I talkin’ smack?

Yeah, a little. I do enjoy going to museums to “speak” with paintings that are calling my name. I go straight to what catches my eye and am able to just cruise past the rest. Seeing the balance and depth of a Jackson Pollock can keep my attention for a while. Making others folx visual creations accessible is important. With so many people and so much to say it feels like the world is a constantly changing museum as well in many ways.

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3 thoughts on “What Makes Folx Art?

  1. The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesnt fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I actually thought you would have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could fix if you werent too busy searching for attention.

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