Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nostalgia: Crafty Folk Art on Etsy

Cultural icons remind us of the the times in which they rose to notoriety. Yesterday, the passage of two American icons reminded most of us of the 70's and 80's when Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett were at the height of their fame.

In a hybrid version of Pop Art and traditional folk arts and crafts genres, these handmade Etsy creations employ 70's and 80's period imagery and classic cultural symbols to create ornamental and utilitarian objects evoking a sense of nostalgia, sentiment or kitschy humor. Traditionally, folk art is an innocent, vernacular non-academic style, using local culture and daily life as subject matter. Likewise, artists of the mid-20th Century Pop Art movement (e.g. Andy Warhol) addressed symbols of everyday life and contemporary culture, but with intent to provoke us with strong messages of irony or absurdity in the banal. Like folk art, these creations offer no critical point of view or message beyond pure whimsy or charm. Like Pop Art, these pieces reference modern day subject matter, with a sense of fun rather than conveying any strong socio-cultural message. Prices range from $4.95 to $42.00.
Today's Etsy artisans include finalscore, designsbybyck, kvossdesigns, ickdesigns, finalscore, ArtsyChica, littlegreenroosters, LilyEssential
Note: I included only crafts that were listed prior to yesterday's news, because the sudden flood of flotsam and memorabilia that appeared on Etsy reminded me of the other big "E" venue where that kind of opportunism is more appropriate.

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