Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


The Eccentric, Eerie, Erotic Outsider Art of D.H.

Often the artistic quality of an artist means less than the story. This is an example, though I find the paintings, of which there are hundreds and hundreds, charming and accomplished in a perverted way. Yes, they are severely cropped here. I've learned my blog provider has a different idea of appropriate than I do, so all I'm showing is the heads (when I can isolate them among the morass of limbs, hands and other body parts, most rendered WAY out of proportion) Trust they are, well...creative. All are unsigned. The best have a chalky white quality which looks like shoe polish, but I am afraid you won't be able to tell from these details.

D.H. produced huge stacks of these watercolors in his summer cottage. I suppose the family thought he was fishing, but when he passed away well into his 90's they were found hidden among a big box of Life magazines in the attic. An old story for fans of outsider art, but it never gets tired for me. A fevered brow, a driven eccentricity and a paintbrush gets me every time. Something about a family happening upon a huge body of unknown work is fascinating...and when it reveals Great-Gramp's secret obsession, all the better. Some of the work was destroyed. I don't want to know why. At the least, he had a delicate and consistent vision, you can tell his work from across the room...and all are marked with a playful, well-rendered eroticism. In some the participants are sprawled over poorly drawn modern furniture. They aren't primitive, but he certainly followed the adage most primitives do, that is that the most important part of a painting is made the largest. I am hiding the artist's name as that's the way the family wants it.

They seem to have been done in the early 1970's for the most part...but one of mine has a hand written tally sheet on the reverse tracking the results of the Mondale election. Fritz lost. All and every manner of partnering up you can imagine is there. The artist made no distinction between gender in the least, and if there is a personal preference, I sure can't find it.

So there you go. Another tale of a reclusive artist, painting for his own pleasure and piling up the work without a single sale or concern that it will. My kind of art.
I did do a little research...the last line of his obit reads "he loved to carve and draw."

Group of watercolors by "D.H." c. 1970. Collection Jim Linderman

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