Art Alchemy Studio

Mixed Media Art by Chaska Peacock

Friday, November 24, 2006

Let Go and Be Playful!

Warning: Unless you love folk-art, you might want to skip this one!

I found Robert Genn's newsletter about Inuit art especially interesting.
He writes: Did you ever stop to wonder why Inuit art is so expressive? Swept up in its mystery and magic, did you ever wonder if you could learn anything from it?

.......there are five main elements that have brought us this gift from the north.

The natural, childlike nature of the artists. The Eskimo are playful. The limitations of the available raw materials.
The seriousness and reality of the local issues. The Inuit live in a constant round of natural disaster and renewal--sickness, health, joy, birth, life, death, spirit, brutality, misfortune, struggle, addiction and gentleness. Their art speaks of real happenings to real people--it does not imitate something else nor does it describe something foreign.
The scarcity and suspicion of academic expectation. (They are self-taught)
Economic pressure."

As I read Genn's above post, I was taken by the similarity of the five elements to those which are part of almost all (if not all) folk art. All the words which I have placed in bold type also apply to Mexican folk art.

The exceptions are: Inuit art is finely carved and polished into sinuous forms. I believe that their materials are much more scarce and their winters are short or non-existent. Mexican art
is heavily influenced by Catholicism and the ornateness brought by the Spanish. And, of course,
Mexican folk art is exuberantly colorful. Although a color (acrylic pigments were invented in Mexico) and celebrations, southern climates tend to be much more colorful than northern climates.

It's good to use what is on hand, I tell my students.....PLAY!


Blogger Maija said...

Thanks for posting this info....very interesting to know!

11:08 PM  

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