Outsider Art!

I bought these two little pieces recently.

Gabriel Shafer’s on a tag:


He is an African-American artist from South Carolina, second generation visionary painter. The title is “You’re Just Smiling Away.”
I’m particularly taken by the winged houses because there is an esoteric Jewish idea that when the Messiah comes buildings in which good deeds have been performed will fly to Jerusalem. The belief is that this will be houses, humble but full of mitzvot, more than synagogues or formal places.

Matt Sesow,who often represents war and “Shock & Awe” but in this case a bird, another flying creature.


Christian Roadside

In our travels through the south, it would seem inevitable that we’d find some Christian outsider or roadside art. Paradoxically, it was the least welcoming.
Here is the Minister’s Tree House:

Presumably a house for spirit as well as flesh. (And looking like parts of the Mindfield). But unlike the friendly signage we were used to at such places, we found


And then, hilariously, four trespassers hurtling over the gate (looking like middle aged church goers instead of vandals).

We also stopped at Millennium Manor Castle, built as a fortress in the late 1930’s to survive Armageddon. Surprisingly, we found the current owners working on it, and were treated to a tour of the rather eerie underground spaces, now sporting a medieval theme.

The 14 room fortress has a two-car garage and a gazebo. And a throne for Jesus.

We also, later on the trip, saw Foam Henge, which is what it sounds like–and rather amusing. Back to the secular (Or Druidic) and friendly signage.

Stoner Patriot Peace Garden of All Faiths









Amarillo, Texas: Stoner Patriot Peace Garden of All Faiths by Richard Daniel Baker
This is completely amazing. One man’s folly—or more. The site just sits out on the plains off of I-40. It reminds me of so may things—Burma Shave signs on Route 66, Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, giant crosses on the plains.
It’s a essentially a circle, with a cross bisecting a peace sign—sacred architecture. It’s like outsider land art, sharing with Nancy Holt an obsession with time and dates. Like Charles Ross’s Star Axis, it is a walk through time.
It wouldn’t surprise me to discover artist Baker is a Vietnam Vet, or friend of some.
The dates are of historical events (unnamed but identifiable)—important to the artist. These include Woodstock, John Lennon’s death, and the Moon Walk.It extols the virtues of the military, of marijuana, of the ’60’s counterculture, of religion, peace, and welding.

Seen from the air, the whole site is a peace sign.peace-farm