Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Sound of Howard Finster, Man of Visions

Howard Finster

The Sounds of Howard Finster Man of Visions
Worlds Minister Of Folk Art Church, inc.

Side 1 – Vocals with Banjo [RR 42001A]
1. Some of These Days
2. Old Time Religion
3. The Saints Go Marching In
4. I Want to Cross Over
5. Five Come a Five Cripple Creek
6. Coming Around the Mountain

Side 2 – Solo Vocals [RR 42001B]

6. Rock of Ages
7. Victory in Jesus
8. It' a Grand and Glorious Feeling
9. I'll Fly Away
10. Explanation of the Devil and Faith
11. I Don't Know Why
12. There's an Eye Watching You

From the back cover :

Howard Finster is a man of many talents. Besides his very special gift for visual invention, during his 65 years on the planet Earth, he has worked as a farmer, grocer, taxidermist, plumber, cabinetmaker and bicycle repairman. In addition, since being « called » at the age of sixteen, he has devoted his life to God. This has included pastoring nine churches, seven years of « on the road » revivals, and hundreds of weddings, baptisms and funerals. Through his ministry, as well as his art and music, Howard Finster’s spirit has touched the lives of many.

After a rather intense vision in 1976, Reverend Finster began painting. He has since completed over 2000 works, including tractor enamel paintings on glass, wood, paper, T.V. sets and other found objects. But this is not all…in 1971, he single-handedly began creating « Paradise Garden », a monumental 2-1/2 acre environmental sculpture. Using thousands of objects discarded by others, including jewelry, marbles, broken glass, mirrors, toys, machinery and other « inventions of man », he composed a visual environmental poem dedicated to all of Mankind. Reverend Finster continues his work on Paradise Garden today, and looks forward to its completion before he returns to God’s planet.

Howard Finster is a man who loves freely, and is loved in return. His visions are as boundless as his energy and motivation. He was sent here to spread the messages of the Lord, and with this album we hope to partially fulfill that goal.

VF June 4, 1981

Recorded in various locations (Summerville, Georgia and North Carolina)
This album was made possible with the support of The American Folk Art Company Tappahannock, Virginia
Produced by Victor Faccinto and Jeffery Camp

Victor Faccinto, animated filmmaker, painter, sculptor, and photographer, is gallery director and a member of the art faculty at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He began photographing Finster and his work on his first visit to Paradise Garden in 1978, and he has since produced two Finster record albums (1979 and 1981).

Howard Finster (1916-2003) was perhaps the best known self-taught artist of the modern era. Howard saw himself as a visitor from another planet, a modern Noah before the flood, sent here to spread the word of the Lord. God spoke directly to him through his visions, which inspired his paintings

There is plenty of information regarding the life and works of Howard Finster available on various website.
But, as they say in France : " c'est-y de l'art ou du cochon ? (Is this art or pig ?).

Is Howard "too popular" ?

Some suggest that the Reverend Howard Finster was seduced by the market, despite his often-expressed intention of proselytizing by getting as many pieces as possible into the hands of potentials converts. Still, the work is treated as if the creation of the rare aesthetic object was his primary goal. Finster’s early work is revered by collectors and is expensive. His later works (those after the late 1980s) are cheaper, more-mass produced, and are less regarded and worth less. Many assumed that by the end his family was doing much of the work. One collector commented about works dated when Finster was hospitalized : « This is not good. Right there that throws a wrench into the idea of Howard ». The toll-free number (1-800-FINSTER) and price list didn’t help. Finster is given a pass by some because, as a minister, he wishes to « get the word ou , » but few suggest that his output of the last decade of his life is very significant aesthetically. Said one collector, Finster has become « too discovered..infected by popular acclaim ».
Gary Alan Fine : everyday genius Selft-Taught Art and the Culture of Authenticity, The University of Chicago Press,2004
Academic books can be (on purpose or not) funny. Found in the same book, as a fact of matters :

One self-taught artist (Sudduth) colors his works with materials such as molasses, coal dust, crepe paper, pine needles, berries, Coca-Cola, and the exhaust fumes from his lawn mower.

The Official Homepage Of Howard Finster

Howard Finster sings & play banjo


1 comment:

  1. I had no idea he made a record! Very interesting! Thanks!