In Los Angeles, a variety of art school graduates have been using the aesthetics and vocabulary of folk art to explore themes relevant to the fine art community. These artists have individually received national press and museum shows, but their work has not been identified as belonging to a larger movement, and the movement has not been fully explored. Hudson|Linc's upcoming show, Neo-Americana, endeavors to start a conversation about this movement and the place of folk art within contemporary fine art.
Gavin Bunner uses Google to search for images relevant to a particular theme, which he then translates to paper with ink and gouache in a folk style reminiscent of a child’s coloring book. His humorous pastiches of the internet's most popular images playfully explore ideas of culture and identity.
Similarly, Zeal Harris draws from her past to create a narrative in each piece. Zeal uses her unique style to pass on the tales of everyday life moments through painting, exposing the viewer to a world they might otherwise never have visited.
Ami Tallman also appropriates the conventions of folk art to explore complex themes. Her deceptively simple drawing style belies sophisticated compositions dealing with power and devotion.
Finally, Dan Van Clapp creates pastiches out of the elements of day-to-day life. His sculptures of war machines are built from discarded children's toys and other cultural refuse. His work is firmly linked to the traditions of folk sculpture, and deeply questions the culture from which it is constructed.
These four artists all share folk aesthetics and sophisticated sensibilities, and are a strong representative sample of Los Angeles' current faux-naif folk art movement. Hudson|Linc is proud to host Neo-Americana as an introduction to this movement and as a forum for further discussion.
Curated by Nick Lisica and Steven Wolkoff