Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Compelling Visions

I have said before that St. Petersburg isn’t an art mecca. Well…..there would be people that would argue that point. I will rephrase. St. Petersburg is not an art mecca for the type of art I admire or for which I find inspiration. Yet this weekend, I was shaken to my core. The St. Petersburg “Museum of Fine Arts” has a show titled “Compelling Visions: Florida Collects Folk Art”. This show blew me away. I sat outside on the steps of the museum and waited for it to open the doors on Sunday. I have always gravitated toward outsider, naïve, or folk art. It is all of the same ilk which I love. I wondered what this show would be like. It was hard for me to wait the ½ for the museum to open.
I wasn’t disappointed. The works of these artists is phenomenal.

I have always loved primitive art. Even when I was at the university, I would always reference the work of African, Oceanic, or American Folk art for inspiration. Seeing this show was emotional for me. I moved into the second room knowing I would have to come back again. I just couldn't assimilate all the wonderful information this show offered. In fact, there are three rooms of work by artists such as Howard Finster, Purvis Young, Benny Carter, Nellie Mae Rowe, etc. and there are so many powerful pieces, it is overwhelming. The art is pure, innocent, and real. They speak their realities. They speak their truths. We can learn from them.

Howard Finster
”Superpowers” 1985

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