My neighbor invited my wife and I over for dinner the other night. Their home is amazing... full of antiques, crafts, and paintings. I took pictures of these forgotten works of art with the intention of giving them a second life on-line. Some of these lively pieces are craft, some sculpture, but most were paintings.
The first few images I posted here first are the works of Andy Waronker's mother (by the way Andy is a woman). The yellowing drawings and horse painting that follows were created by Andy's mother's lover when they were young. From what I gather, they split up and soon after he jumped into the Seine River and killed himself. The drawing of the cat by the window was done by the hand of Andy's daughter when she was 14 or so and whom is now a senior in high school. The pictures I have posted after that were done by different artists, most of which are unknown.
As I scanned her walls full of interesting old paintings I thought of this expert from an article published in the New York Times titled "Finding Something Worthy in Every Find" by art critic Roberta Smith. In regards to her collection of paintings found in flea markets, yard sales, and thrift shops, Roberta writes...
There is something immensely comforting about these works. They come at you entirely on their own, unencumbered by the name, life or personality of the artist, devoid of reputation or blinding auction prices. They lack the white noise of contemporary commentary and opinion that critics usually must work through, either consciously or subconsciously, on the way to their own conclusions when writing about art exhibitions. What might be called their orphanhood or nakedness is liberating. Given the onslaught of the art world and the current mania for contemporary art — largely a good thing, don’t get me wrong — artist-free art can be something of a relief.
In a way, you love these paintings in the simple, uncomplicated way you love pets, and they love you back. You don’t expect them to hold up their end of a conversation about art in the age of digital, or even mechanical, reproduction.
At the same time, the paintings themselves are not totally separate from art in a professional sense. Some are full of diluted strains of art history: assorted trickle-down styles, vague allusions, instinctive adaptations or absorptions of things in the air.