with folk art
Folk Art and Bold Geometric Shapes Flourish in Lisa Congdon’s Joyful Paintings
A sense of lively optimism permeates Lisa Congdon’s work. Through vibrant palettes of yellows, pinks, and blues, the Portland-based artist pairs bold geometries with folk art symbols, rendering abstract compositions or minimal scenes that capture a joyful outlook. Her acrylic paintings are on view now at Chefas Projects as part of The Opposite of Sorrow, a solo show that considers what it means to be positive. “One cannot know joy without also knowing darkness,” Congdon says, sharing that her practice originated as an antidote to depression. “It was through art that I began to see and feel the beauty of life and to feel happy for the first time.”
The Opposite of Sorrow is on view through February 11. If you’re in Portland, Congdon runs a shop with originals, prints, and other goods. Otherwise, find more of her paintings and illustrations on her site and Instagram.
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Rich with Imaginative Detail, Maria Prymachenko’s Colorful Folk Art Speaks to Life in Ukraine
Maria Prymachenko (1908–1997) was a self-taught folk artist known for her renderings of life in the Ukrainian countryside. Her gouache and watercolor works are vibrant and imaginative, depicting symmetrical red poppies tucked in a small vase or fantastical bull-like animals sprouting two-headed snakes. Expressive and consistently advocating for peace, Prymachenko’s paintings are widely known throughout Ukraine and internationally: she received a gold medal at the Paris World Fair in 1937, when Pablo Picasso is said to have dubbed her “an artistic miracle.”
Earlier this week, Russian attacks northwest of Kyiv destroyed the Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum, where about 25 of her works were housed. According to the Ukrainian Institute, though, local residents were able to retrieve the pieces from the burning museum before they were lost entirely. The aggression subsequently prompted calls for Russia to be removed from UNESCO, which declared 2009 the year of Prymachenko.
Explore more of the renowned artist’s works and history on WikiArt.
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An Immersive New Exhibition by OSGEMEOS Combines Street and Folk Art
After almost three months of working on-site at the Mattress Factory, OSGEMEOS (previously) revealed Lyrical, one of their most intimate and complex presentations to date. The exhibition includes a vast array of the Brazilian twins’ work, including paintings, sculptures, murals, in situ interventions, audio elements, found objects, and an impressive zoetrope sculpture originally created for their 2014 Ópera da Lua exhibition in São Paulo. An entire section of the show is built with pieces from their private collection, which includes folk art they’ve acquired during their travels. These collected works are displayed alongside small-scale pieces created especially for the exhibition.
Growing up in the bustling and multicultural Cambuci neighborhood of São Paulo, the brothers were exposed to hip hop at an early age. The pair started off as breakdancers, and have also dabbled as DJs and MCs before eventually becoming graffiti writers. Through street art, OSGEMEOS discovered their city’s rich culture, which helped develop their unique universe which they continue to expand upon today. Their installations, murals, and paintings are filled with colorful characters that imitate everyday people and friends, brought together to express the rich culture of the hip hop and graffiti world. You can visit Lyrical at the Mattress Factory through August 4, 2019.
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Jay Mohler Updates the Traditional Craft of Homespun God’s Eyes to Create Elaborate Masterpieces up to 48 Inches Wide
Far more than just popsicle sticks and yarn, Jay Mohler‘s Ojos de Dios or “God’s Eye” mandalas update the craft often seen at sleepaway camps and elementary classrooms. Upwards of 15 colors of yarn are included in his elaborate mandalas, producing pieces that span up to 48 inches in diameter.
Mohler has been crafting Ojos de Dios since 1966, inspired by both Huichol natives of Mexico, and monks from Tibet. The Asheville, North Carolina-based artist began making 8-sided pieces when they grew in popularity as folk art in the 1970’s American Southwest, selling them at tourist gift shops around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Most recently Mohler has been producing 12-sided works that he recognizes as potentially spiritual objects, but explains, “I create these for artistic satisfaction rather than as any sort of spiritual talisman.”
Not only does Mohler sell his own elaborate pieces, but he also creates DIY kits for fans to make their own work. You can buy both his finished pieces and kits on his Etsy page and find detailed instructions for making your own mandalas here. (via The Jealous Curator)
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Editor's Picks: Art
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