i am intrigued by the concept & stories of the self-taught artist or “outsider/visionary art”

{henry darger, adolf wölfli, eugene von bruenchenhein}

the idea actually originated as ART BRUT or raw art & was meant to describe

art created outside the “boundaries of official culture”  

& more specifically art created by insane-asylum inmates

but naturally over time the theme broadened

& now means artists who have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions…

and it has become a very successful art marketing category

anway…all that being said ~ i thought this was a charming story of one such “outsider artist”

& his accidental art fame…

{via the new york times}

Junkyard Poet of Whirligigs and Windmills

{photo credits:  Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times}

vollis simpson is 91 &  a retired farm-equipment repairman

who took a hobby of sculpting pieces out of discarded steel & aluminum

just to entertain himself & the neighbors…

his work now has made him one of the most recognized self-taught outsider artists

some of his work has been featured

in a window at bergdorf goodman in manhattan last christmas 

& is on permanent display in baltimore, atlanta & albuquerque

“The attentions of the outside world seem to befuddle him even today. When he first started making these things he calls his “windmills” 25 years ago, did he call it art?

“Didn’t call it nothing,” he said. “Just go to the junkyard and see what I could get. Went by the iron man, the boat man, the timber man. Ran by every month. If they had no use for it, I took it.”

The inspiration was in his gleanings, he said. “I’d look at a piece of metal, think of something and jump right on it.”

His cluttered yard is a recycling center on steroids. Junked air conditioners are great for fan blades. The police auction in nearby Wilson, N.C., supplies “all the bikes you want.” With an acetylene cutting torch, he can find the man or mule, hat or cat, hidden in any castoff sheet of steel.”


see the article here



One thought on “whirligigs

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