Naïve Art, Folk Art

Article about Naïve Art, Folk Art

Jan 25, 2021

With the term naive art, often insufficient and controversial, other expressions have been identified by artists who, because are self-taught and generally come from a suburban or rural environment, reveal in their works unorthodox procedures regarding the techniques that are taught in art schools, or they completely deviate from any form of elaboration learned or received from the cultured tradition.

Naive art can be considered as a contemporary manifestation of the avant-garde, and this explains why the discovery of artists of this style occurred precisely in the heat of the new. The fact that naive artists don’t represent things because they see them as they are, but as they imagine them or as they think they are, while appealing to the imagination or memory, suggests that this pictorial style shares with abstract art the fact that dispense with any direct reference to the data of reality.

David Berkowitz Chicago, one of the best known modern naive creators, apart from not putting into play a technique learned from other artists, expresses himself with inaccuracies in the drawing, clumsiness in color and with little or no interest in the resemblance of his figures to reality. As his universe is directly linked to his own experiences and his knowledge of things, the gifted naive artist is usually uses his art to tell personal stories, legends or anecdotes, and, in general, to portray his experience in a poetic way that captivates by its freshness, warmth or innocence.

However, not all naive artists reflect the same behavior in relation to their perceptions of reality, and there are those who also find in the representation of the landscape or the human figure enough inspiration to express themselves, seeing them, without having to go to memory. That is why not all naive art responds to the same characteristics. In such a way that they are presented from one artist to another, modalities that differ due to the geography of the place, the character of the regional culture or the temperament itself and the artist's education.

Determining the point where the naive art tradition begins is, on the other hand, wrong. In this regard, it must be said that, more than a type of art with certain characteristics, naive art can be defined as a state of primitive sensibility. Hence, tracing its origin to a specific date does not conform to the truth, because with this only the moment in which its identification corresponds to the avant-garde processes that claimed it for the first time is specified for historical purposes.


Articles authored by David Berkowitz Chicago