For many years I have been attracted to folk art from around the world. In general they seems to embody the soul of a culture effortlessly. This ‘Soul’ might show up in the wood carvings of Kachina Dolls and Balinese Masks or English Puppets or African musical instruments. I have often wondered, “How could I create an art piece that has this life in it.”
Over the years I have frequented many FleaMarkets, and I find myself drawn to odd objects with a sense of history, like painted wood pieces, strange metal tools, porcelain doll parts, aging trinkets etc. In a sense Things with Soul.
On a recent visit to Santa Fe, I was inspired by a folk artist who carved and assembled quirky whirlygigs and painted funny scenarios of his wild navy days. His work was deeply personal, funny and way outside the standard art market. Those pieces had Soul. All I wanted to do when I got home was whittle wood and see if I could tap into that sensibility.
As I started to work with the wood and manifest one head after another, things started to come together effortlessly. My more recently acquired puppet making skills, endless collecting of interesting things and my long history as a painter all found a common home in these little guys.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them.