Carefully conceived, with respectful, sophisticated essays and excellent color photographs, plus an extensive list of folk-art sites, Self-Made Worlds
may prove indispensable to aficionados of outsider art, and will be educational for those who are new to it. The sites--minutely decorated, handmade, often monumental temples, grottoes, castles, and towers--range from the famous, graceful Palais Idéal
in France, to a Depression-era shack in Louisiana painted with words. Portable outsider art fetches high prices, but as curator Roger Manley writes, all of these obsessive environments, whether about beauty, rage, or sadness, "stem from a deeply felt need for experience that feels honest, authentic, and highly personal."
From Library Journal
Whether termed visionaries, outsiders, or primitives, the artists represented here live in worlds of their own creation. Sloan, director of the Halsey Gallery at the College of Charleston School of the Arts, and folklorist/curator Manley present an international collection of folk art environments that range from cement towers incorporating bits of pottery in mosaic patterns to multiacre sites filled with temples to cement-figure sculpture gardens. Generally, the entries are two to four pages in length and include brief biographical notes, a discussion of the artist's unique personal style and particular need to create, and a description of the composition and current condition of the site. An index notes location, and photographs capture the passion of these eccentrics and their deeply felt opinions and religious beliefs. Not merely chicken wire, cement, and junk, these personal kingdoms are a testimony to creativity, imagination, and ingenuity. Recommended for comprehensive art collections.?Judith Yankielun Lind, Roseland Free P.L., NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.