Plenty of nothing, but plenty of time. Paraphrase of the Porgy and Bess song. If anyone had plenty of nothing and plenty of time, it would be someone serving it. Hence Prison Art. Akin to the branch of institutionalized outsider art (oxymoron) which existed before psychoactive drugs sapped some of the fevered creativity. Folks in small living quarters with nothing on their hands BUT time…and sometimes an object of art results.
I don't know if this giant fake grandfather clock (Father Time) constructed of hundreds of wooden matchsticks was made by a prisoner, but it does have a time motif. It even has a fake pendulum and weights which move, but the the hands do not. He's stuck. Time keeps dragging on. A lifer.
One way to tell if your wooden object is tramp art versus prison art? Did it require a KNIFE? Most hoosegows frown, as general policy, of giving the inmates knives.
Tramp Art or Prison Art Grandfather Clock of Matchsticks. No Date. Collection Jim Linderman
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