Any way you look at it, this camper is different. Did the owner start out to make a work of art? Was he just expressing an opinion when he stuck the first plastic flower or figure on the metal?
Wikipedia tells us that Naïve art is any form of visual art that is created by a person who lacks the formal education and training that a professional artist undergoes (in anatomy, art history, technique, perspective, ways of seeing, etc.). Unlike folk art, naïve art does not necessarily evidence a distinct cultural context or tradition.
Here in my city, we have several of these moving pieces of Naïve Art. We also have Salvation Mountain…a unique work of art painted on sand, straw, adobe, and lead free paint. The artist, Leonard Knight, died in 2014, and volunteers are now attempting to keep his vision stabile in a harsh environment.
Up in LA, the Watts Towers were built by Simon Rodia. Cement, broken crockery, rebar and bottles all came together to create towers that lightly touch the sky. When I first saw them they had been condemned, were crumbling, and there was a world wide fight to preserve them. In 1990, they were designated a National Historical Monument, and Mr. Rodia would be content.
When several artists first saw social artist Keith Haring’s work, we thought it a joke. Anyone could do that we told ourselves. But anyone couldn’t. Most of us lack the imagination, the passion, and the energy to create such a huge body of work in a new language. Today, most of us see ourselves as fools, and we really enjoy Harings art. One of his mural’s is being restored in Paris now, and I have been following its progress with a smile on my face.
Perhaps that’s what naïve art is….a smile on our faces.