'Treats' Acrylic on wood assemblage ©robinrkent

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Folk Art vs Trained Art

I surveyed the recent art opening where my two previously posted paintings in this blog were hung. I asked a viewer (non-painter from town) if they could tell which work was mine. He picked both out.
'Aging Circus Act'  Mixed media sculpture      ©robinrkent
Going back to creating 'painterly paintings' from contemporary folk art has been a learning lesson. Seems one can transfer painting experiences from one medium - and style - to another. No one-trick pony. 

Universal topics often arise at the same time. I recently read via the Fenimore Art Museum  blog  the same art segregation issues when museums hang shows. They highlight a well written article from the New York Times in their post on this very topic.

But from the art business side, is it a good thing to mix styles? When patrons see you as a folk artist and then you're painting 'paintings,' are you confusing your market?


Cynthia Myers said...

I'm thinking of Pablo Picasso. Compare his paintings from his Blue period, example Femme aux Bras Croisés done in 1902 to something like Nude on a Black Armchair created in 1932. He was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer.
Think of his sculpture Seated Woman or The Horse and then think of Head, his outdoor sculpture in Chicago.
I'm not formally educated on Art of course and prefer to call myself self-taught via the library and the Internet etc. I can lose myself for vasts amounts of time squinting at the computer screen. I am in awe of all your work. Whether it's Folk Art Assemblage or Painterly Paintings. As you know, I'm just starting, though late in life to try to create Art that is hopefully marketable and yet true to what I love... and then I find when someone likes a painting I begin to think I need to stick with that formula and get scared to venture into different territory. So thank you for this post. A reminder that square pegs shouldn't be forced into round holes. I agree with the "viewer" that I can identify your work no matter the medium. There is a common invisible thread that touches my heart and makes me smile. I wouldn't call that confusion.
(Thank you so much for your kind words regarding my Griffin. It helps to know that I have friends like you. xoxo)

Sand said...

Do what you want to do.

Carole said...

Good questions Robin. By adding another creative outlet an artist is adding more selection for their fans. Someone may not have to space in their home to display a sculpture but may have loads of wall space for paintings.

I'm wondering how one goes about pricing. Do sculptures sell for more than paintings? Or is it the other way around?

Both your sculptures and paintings are fabulous so I say do both!

Here's to a great week!

Mimi Boothby said...

Oh yes, you should paint, scratch, sculpt, ANYTHING that you feel like creatively. And it won't confuse your friends. I just signed up for a pottery class. I'm pretty mediocre as a potter, but because i have friends that love my paintings, they want my mugs too! (I'm giving them away, they're ugly) And since I'm making pots, I am not painting but my creative juices continue to flow.
I am sure it is the same with you.