Inside my house
Now that the esteemed collection (300 pieces) of Anthony Petullo has been donated to the Milwaukee Art Museum and is being exhibited in a widely reviewed show (Accidental Genius), I’ve decided to further illuminate you with a few pieces from my personal collection of local outsider (mostly self-trained) artists.
The images represent only a small portion of my collection. Among the items gracing my home: a genuine chicken foot with painted toenails (Sculpture, artist unknown), a rhinestone ankle bracelet (purchased from an exhibit at the Kohler in Sheboygan) and Grandma at the Snake Farm (painted stick sculpture, artist unknown).
This piece on the right is a favorite of mine, for not only does it call-up my turquoise prom dress from the 50’s, it makes a social statement about the role of “dressing up,” and how that role affects females, early on. Constructed of items with which to festoon the body, it’s the work of outsider artist, Jimmy von Milwaukee (JVM), known for celebrating art by holding his infamous Leo Feldman Gallery openings in closets carpeted with lime-green shag. This work crosses all genders with its funky appeal to the senses.
If you eat often enough at George Webb, you’ll live to adore this little object made of Play-Doh, acrylic paint, ground red pepper, cardboard plate, gloss gel medium. The work (Bacon & Egg) is by an anonymous artist and was acquired in 2005. I often exhibit it near a small Susan Barnett photograph (Untitled, 2011) of a vintage toaster she unearthed in Boise, Idaho.
Sometimes a crushed soda can is just a crushed soda can, but under the talented hands of DIY artist, F. Levine, it’s becomes Pineapple Soda, circa unknown. Discovered in a Riverwest venue, this little object embellished with clever touches of paint and a dancing monkey with a tin cup, and is among her first and finest work.