Folk Art.

Modern folk art, I think is the correct term.

I was chatting with a tenant at the other job – he’s an art history and studio art student. I got off on tangent about the Chinati Foundation.

On the tour of the facility and its installations, there was one barracks that was left pretty much intact, the way it was when the foundation bought the place. On the wall, there were several illustrations that were left, just cartoon characters on the old plaster and adobe walls.

“Must’ve been a cantina,” the docent suggested, “it was left like this.”

The style of that artwork reminded me of another style I’d seen before, sort of in the same area. The Commemorative Air Force (which used to be the Confederate Air Force) has this huge collection of Nose Art.

Like the pictures on the wall in that barracks, this is artwork that was not done by a professional artist. Of course it’s not politically correct artwork.

There are prurient caricatures, the more tame material is on display, I believe. Other material pokes fun at the enemy of the time. In one case, I swiped a Latin quote from one piece of “Army Air Supply Corp” ordinance on display, “VINCIT QUI PRIMUM GERIT.” I even used it as a sig file for a while. Not many folks caught its meaning or source.

It’s all about American Folk Art. That’s artwork, produced by someone who isn’t a trained “artist,” and it’s purpose it to entertain, educate, or like that nose art, protect and give some added value to what was going on at the time.

I’m fascinated by this stuff, perhaps more so than its modern variants, just because there’s so little of it left. It was some years ago, at the CAF HQ (at the Midland-Odessa International Airport – MAF) where I had a chance to tour a back room of the uncompleted museum. The bored “communications officer” was idly poking through a number of crates, close to 50, and each one was a rescued piece of nose art. From the airplanes’ graveyard, someplace in the desert. Most of that nose art wasn’t fit for prime time.

Wonder where it all went? Is it important? Sure it is. Just like those images on the wall of the abandoned and then converted barracks in Marfa. and its family of websites participate in affiliate programs, which means there are material connections between the ads, and this site. for appearances — see the fineprint for full disclosure and terms. breaking horoscopes since 1993, email list (free).

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