Stanley Szwarc’s Visionary Cross Purposes

Stanley Szwarc (1928-2011), a Polish book keeper turned metal worker and then artist after arriving in the United States, gave no indication of being particularly religious, but he did like making crosses. A prolific creator of objects from scrap stainless steel, always demonstrating over-the-top imagination, Szwarc made hundreds of crosses, if not thousands. He produced jewelry, he made crosses to be hung on […]

B.F. Perkins and Jimmy Lee Sudduth

Two fine artists: B.F. Perkins and Jimmy Lee Sudduth at Perkins’ environment in Bankston, Alabama. Sudduth gave me this Polaroid in 1990 or thereabouts, along with directions to Perkins’ place. Sudduth was a genius with mud. Perkins’ environment was continuous with his art. He repeated himself, but his best themes, like the “Cherokee Lovebirds,” were […]

Book Review: Singular Spaces: From the Eccentric to the Extraordinary in Spanish Art Environments

Jo Farb Hernandez’s study of Spanish art environments is so epic that even a large-format volume of nearly 600 pages can’t get the job done, so a bonus CD adds thousands more thumbnail pictures and hundreds more pages of text. If creating a world-class art environment requires obsessive devotion, Hernandez is a match for the […]

Book Review: Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art

Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection

“Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection,” Edited by Ann Percy with Cara Zimmerman; With contributions by Francesco Clemente, Lynne Cooke, Joanne Cubbs, Bernard L. Herman, Ann Percy, Colin Rhodes, and Cara Zimmerman, Yale University Press, 288 pages, 245 color illustrations and 1 b/w, 2013. ISBN 978-0-3001-9175-2. Hard cover […]

Book Review: South African Township Barbershops and Salons

South African Township Barbershops and Salons, Simon Weller, Mark Batty Publisher, 128 pages, 2011. ISBN 978-1-935613-04-6. Hard cover $27.95 If African Signs, with its minimal text but rich collection of photographs, provides a window to African vernacular culture, South African Township Barbershops & Salons passes through that window to provide something of an inside tour. […]

Book Review: African Signs

African Signs, by Rob Floor, Gert van Zanten andPaul Faber, KIT Publishers, 208 pages, 2010. ISBN 978-9-4602-2080-7. Soft cover $45 Every once in a while those of us who don’t often make it to Africa have an opportunity to glimpse the continent’s extraordinary commercial visual culture. As recently as this summer vibrant examples of hand-painted […]