California Crazy and Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture by Jim Heimann My rating: 5 of 5 stars 1980’s California Crazy was one of the early gospels for roadside art enthusiasts, documenting dozens of the state’s wonderful theme buildings of the early 20th century, from giant donuts to miniature sphinxes. Author Jim Heimann updated the book in […]
Joe Wiser’s Bottle Cap Inn in Miami was featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, but more importantly it was a triumph of an obsessive personal vision. Fortunately, many interior views were preserved in a series of postcards and press photos. The bar was created in the 1930s by Joe Wiser, said to be a […]
Experience Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden, site of a one-person creative flowering like few the world has ever seen. Also, see the Sidewalks of Paradise Garden. Read a review of Norman Girardot’s enlightening exploration of Finster’s art and theology. Visit my archival Howard Finster page.
A brief swing through Milwaukee is enough to turn up some fine examples of roadside art.
Ray Yoshida’s Museum Of Extraordinary Values by Karen Patterson My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve had the privilege of seeing Ray Yoshida’s art collection only twice, the first time in 1994 when I was co-curating a show of bottle-cap art for Chicago’s Intuit. Ray was gracious and loaned some pieces. His collection was spectacular, […]
Abstraction occurs all over. Can you guess where these abstract images are from? Click on the individual images below this group to find out.
Chicago’s Southeast Side easily looks like a wasteland to drivers taking the Chicago Skyway as the shortest, though most expensive, path to get from the city to Michigan. But of course there are glimpses of a more interesting reality. The most obvious are the dramatic railroad bridges you see as you cross the Calumet River […]
Camilo Jose Vergara brings a fine photographic eye, a sociologist’s curiosity and expertise, and tremendous commitment to his explorations of cities, their decay and their resilience. This study of Harlem is most enlightening.
Chicago is home to the greatest collection of outdoor stone carvings in urban America. Generations of beach-going carvers whiling away the hours left their marks on huge limestone blocks installed during the Depression to improve and protect the city’s park-lined lakefront. Many of these anonymous carvings have been destroyed as part of more recent anti-erosion projects. […]
The vibrant visual environment created by food trucks on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a longtime favorite at Interesting Ideas. These photos of this vernacular art experience are from our third session there, in August 2015. You can also see some glorious details at Food Truck Visions: Art of Street Food, D.C. . See our […]