Allan Katz: Why I Love Folk Art

Allan Katz: Why I Love Folk Art


APPRAISER: Folk art to me has a wonderful
sensibility to it and we’re all connected differently. And the way my
brain resonated when I first came upon folk art allowed me to say, “this is it.”
You know, the old line is, “I didn’t pick folk art, folk art picked me.” And it’s
something that over the years and studying folk art and finding out what
segments of it I like and what segments of it I shied away from. I find the
pieces, to me the sculptural pieces, most important to me and the pieces that
resonate the most with me: weather vanes, tobacco figures, a unique piece like this,
my brain just soaked it up. Really, really good folk art is very reductive, it’s not
fancy, it’s not filled with all kinds of extra splashes of color or form, it’s a
very reductive format. Folk art is a marriage of all these cultures. We’re a
melting pot nation. The American folk art aesthetic is actually unique. It has
influences. So when we go up to Milwaukee we’re out in in Minneapolis you see a
lot of Swedish, Norwegian influence. In the folk art that was made there, made in
America, but yet the person who made it brought it over this way, with their eyes.
With the thought of growing up overseas, bringing it over. So as we travel around
the country with Roadshow we see the influence of these different pockets of
immigrant population. That thrills me. So this simplification, this reductive form
is actually now in current times what people are looking for. And there’s so
much of folk art that’s one and done. It could be something like a cane, painting,
a carving. It’s wonderful.

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