A couple weeks back I visited Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens. I’d never heard of Finster before visiting the High Museum in GA and had been sort of plotting to see the place ever since.
He’s probably most well known for the type of work featured in this post… the fact that I included such a photo in a post relating to a client’s mental illness tells you what I think about Finster’s mental stability, but anyway…
Rather than being turned off by the religious nature of his art, I think I like it because of that… it’s so improbable to find bible verses painted on bicycles, on Cadillacs, on windowpanes and random pieces of cardboard.
Sadly, most of his “good” art has been carted away to museums and what’s left behind at Paradise Gardens is mostly just the weird stuff, but I enjoyed that, too.
I could (and may just!) do a whole post on the randomness of the place.
Mostly I thought I’d share these couple pix of the mosaic work I found throughout the garden…
Finster was a collector of found objects and a recycler extraordinaire.
Nothing there is very well-kept anymore, but that makes the beautiful bits that much more interesting, I think.
9 thoughts on “Paradise Gardens”
Welcome back to the blogging world–I think mnay of us who began enthusiastically have slowed down a touch. At least, you blog occasionally–some of those folks I used to read have outright quit.
I have been wondering what you might say–as a Jersey girl at heart–about the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
Some of the most prolific artists were not so mentally stable it seems. I’m sure his place was interesting to roam, as even though there was no rhyme to his reason, it all just seems to “fit.” :c)
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Interesting to note that one of my favourite “New Wave” bands from the 80’s used one of his outsider art pieces for their album cover. And I had no idea that he was local.
(An album was one of those big, round, black things you put on a turntable…)
Sheese, Laura, you’ve seen more of GA than I; quite the adventurer. The paranoid artist, biblical, art brut, or “art of the insane” meme is oddly unsettling. But it IS the south. 😉
I wonder if the South has more of these “found art” artists than the North or the West. Lots of crazy people in the South?
KGMom: I do have something to say… still working it out, really.
Jayne: It was a fun side trip… pretty close to you!
Dr. Know: Talking Heads?
Delia: Could be…
(plenty of religious fanatics, I dare say.)
A New Wave/Avant Garde band from New York city, using “found art” as elements in their eclectic style of music which meshed various African rhythms, funk, pop music and Brian Eno’s electro-ambiance mixing and production style. Lead singer David Byrne’s paranoid misfit theatrical stylings were the icing on their cake of oddity. Their music dealt with current culture, world events, love, and pop issues. I threw together a sampler of music for your readers’ edification. Not everyone’s cup of tea, mind you, but one of the most influential bands from the 1980s and a frequent act at the now defunct CBGB’s in NYC.
Now aren’t you sorry you asked?
Dr. Know: Of course I know about Talking Heads… just a little surprised to learn you like them! And Brian Eno… is he the same guy that makes solo albums now?
I owned many albums that had to be ordered because they weren’t Travis Twit, Led Zeppelin, or Lynrd Skinrd and were not stocked.
Why would you be surprised? Are you going to be like my childhood friend in Chicago that was (in jest?) shocked that we had power and indoor plumbing? Not all the south was backwards, just most of it. I read them book thangs and everthang – Atlanta even had libraries!
As for Eno, he has made albums on his own since the 70’s as well as being the producer for many bands including Devo, David Bowie, U2, Depeche Mode, and Paul Simon. The first solo album I owned was from his Ambient Music series, “Music for Airports”, which I used as the background music for early experiments in digital video back in the 80s – when you had to write your own CGI software and it took days to render a single frame.
I also listened to Elvis Costello, Steely Dan, early ELO/Move, Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds, Three Dog Night, etc. And not one country album, thank you very much. Unfortunately, thousands of albums were destroyed by some scumbag pettifogger and his crooked political friends.
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