Thursday, February 13, 2014

Articles - Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
The Goldstein family talks about daughter Emily's journey with dystonia. .... Artist Jim Bloom turned to painting during his recupration from a vehicle accident that ...

ART REVIEW: For Jim Bloom, honesty is best policy

The Allentown native’s works, on display in the Outsider Folk Art Gallery, have a fearless candor mixed with an innate understanding of material relationships.

Reading, PA -  
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Jim Bloom's "Where You Gonna Run to When Your Gig is Up" is on view in the Outsider Folk Art Gallery in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts through Feb. 29.
Honesty. We look for it from a car dealer or an insurance agent, in advertising and from employers, but what about art ists?

Pablo Picasso said that art is a lie that leads to the truth. If that is so, then all art is a lie and all artists are liars.

Do you believe that, or do you believe that some art ists actually tell it like it is, warts and all, with artworks that can be so truthful that it may be painful to make them or hurtful to even look at them?

Oddly enough, it is the work of such an artist whom we find more intriguing and memorable in the long run. The artwork is so profoundly direct, even to the point of bluntness, that it cannot be ignored.

Such an artist is Jim Bloom, whose work is on display in the Outsider Folk Art Gallery in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts through Feb. 29.

Bloom was born in Allentown in 1968 and is considered an Outsider Artist, one who is mostly self-taught and is by choice disconnected from the cultural mainstream. Many Outsiders are iconoclasts, creative rebels who produce outside of academia for personal reasons.

Others have been known to be handicapped by any number of health problems, and occasionally are unemployable or difficult to work with. Yet they persistently continue to make art, as if driven by an unseen force.

Bloom’s paintings, mostly acrylic are worked and reworked to an obsessive level. He makes a painting and then becomes dissatisfied with it, changes it, and even much later, if he doesn’t like what he sees, he will change it again.

He works with inexpensive discarded materials, such as cardboard and newspaper tap ed together. Though some of his benefactors have supplied him with expensive canvases, he prefers his “cheap” materials for the feeling of fragility and temporarily that they portray.

 In 2000 he was injured in a severe automobile accident
 In 2001 he also  diagnosed with the movement disorder Dystonia ,similar to Parkinson's Disease
It was at this point that he dedicated his efforts toward art,if only to force him to get up and moving in spite of the difficulties now with pain and the awkwardness a movement disorder causes in terms of coordination and stamina
His style is urgent, dynamic, linear and narrative, but his colors are bright and cheerful, like cartoon violence, as he draws some of his imagery from animated pop culture. Nasty side comments or song lyrics are printed directly on some of the works and in many pieces he attaches or removes bits of painted cardboard, either to augment the composition or to fix an element of the work he didn’t like.

His works have a fearless candor and innovative-ness to them, mixed with an innate understanding of material relationships. It also helps to have an issue or two to fuel the fire.

Regardless of their instinctive technique and serious subject matter, Bloom’s pieces express common issues that strike a chord within most of us for their uncompromising sense of openness.

•Contact Ron Schira at

1 comment:

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