If you define Folk Art as art produced for one's own pleasure, by someone who is not attempting to make a living at it, then most art is folk art. Then what is Fine Art? Here are two definitions:
- art created for purely aesthetic expression, communication, or contemplation.
- the visual arts which include painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and some performance art, as distinct from art forms such as poetry, literature, dance and music.
While I am frequently on the lookout for examples of unique folk art (of the fine art sort), the work of Jason deCaires Taylor, while solidly in the professional art arena, is certainly unique. This sculpture, "Man on Fire", is situated in 8m of water off Cancun, Mexico. It has been there long enough for some coral and other sessile sea life to grow. Indeed, getting coral to grow on his sculptures is the point of Taylor's work. They are made from a mixture of concrete and coral sand, to present a surface attractive to coral animals. He is presently involved in an installation to comprise 400 statues, all life casts of whole persons.
I collect fruit stickers (and veggie stickers when they show up), just pasting them at random onto notebook paper. Barry Snyder, the Stickerman, enlists friends to gather them by the thousand so he can produce portraits such as this Sgt Pepper picture. I don't know how he keeps them prior to putting the portraits together; most papers you stick them to, they are hard to remove intact.
It is nothing new to state that all people are artists of one sort or another. What is it about art? In my own case, producing a work of art focuses attention to a rare level. The sense of flow that accompanies the otherwise tedious activity is a timeless state that is quite addicting.
In that regard, planning a road trip, particularly now that mapping software is effectively free (for the modest cost of a computer!), with the bemused contemplation of alternate routes, side trips and sights to see, is a kind of art. I get the same satisfaction from a well-executed road trip that I do from completing a mobile. But the planning is the greatest pleasure. Sometimes the trip itself is anticlimactic!
But we each have our favorites. Producing sticker portraits is probably a great pleasure for Stickerman, whether or not he sells any. But many people would find themselves bored or frustrated by it. I can see myself perhaps making simple decorations with stickers, at most. I suspect, though, that Stickerman would find mobile-making a drag. Stickers are "his thing". What is your thing?