With the advent of the interweb and the likes of Etsy.com, there is little excuse for giving boring, common gifts this holiday season. The fine folks at Candler Arts have a most unique selection of outsider/folk/self-taught artwork and artful objects that truly are one of a kind.

Painting of Payton Woodard at Pardeeville Pond, Wisc., 1900. Two small spots of paint loss in the sky. 21.6 inches by 17.6 inches. $800

A plastic lense that covered a light fixture at a dry cleaners.
Circa 1960s. Great display piece. 29.6 inches by 21 inches.

Philip Germann of Centerville, Iowa, made this drawing on paper on May 18, 1936.
The fanciful script is reminiscent of much older writing exercises. 10.25 inches by 7.25 inches.

Expertly made but never used, circa 1940, from New England.
Formerly owned by the author of a game board book. 23.75 inches diameter, 0.75 inches thick.

Owner Kevin Duffy, a former journalist and longtime seeker of idiosyncratic objects. His collection in his own words contains pieces that might be strange, offbeat, näive or all of the above. I couldn’t approve more.

To make an inquiry or a purchase, contact Kevin at candlerarts@gmail.com or call 404-217-1150.
Check out their blog: candlerarts.blogspot.com/


Dargerism: Contemporary Artists and Henry Darger
New York
American Folk Art Museum
Now through September 21

Grayson Perry
He Comes Not In Triumph, 2004
Glazed ceramics
21 x 12 in./ 53.3 x 30.5 cm
Photo: Victoria Miro Gallery, London
© Grayson Perry
Courtesy American Folk Art Museum, New York

New York’s American Folk Art Museum brings together 11 contemporary artists from all over the world who have been influenced by the visionary self-taught artist Henry Darger. Darger’s epic paintings of the Vivian Girls — the abolitionist heroines of his fantastical writings — hang beside the younger artists’ work on two floors. Some exhibit obvious relationships with the Chicago recluse, such as Justin Lieberman, who overlays Darger’s backgrounds with images of nudes and young beauty queens, and Anthony Goicolea, who recreates Darger’s imagery in photographs. Others, including Amy Cutler, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Grayson Perry, display similar interests in myth-making, queer affect, and utopian striving. By highlighting the outsider artist’s growing influence on contemporary art, Dargerism challenges the art-historical canon, as it considers the aesthetic possibilities of narrative, struggle, and transgression. – Thomas Lax

Anthony P. Munoz