George Lowe bridges the worlds of folk/Outsider art and contemporary art as few other artists do.
Susan Mitchell Crawley, former Curator of Folk Art for the High Museum, Atlanta, writes: “He has collected art since he was very young, beginning with prints and drawings by prominent Modern and Contemporary artists and later developing an enthusiasm for vernacular art.” Lowe’s collection of the work of Georgia visionary folk artist Howard Finster is among the finest in the world, and he has lent many pieces from his personal collection to museum exhibitions.
Above: Lunch on Stagg Field. This piece was included in “Lands Beyond,” an exhibition of visionary landscapes curated by author Tom Patterson, in Spring 2015 at the Bascom Center for the Visual Arts, Highlands, NC.
Crawley continues: “In the course of this collecting career he has seen and absorbed much. Despite his long involvement with [fine] art, Lowe shows more kinship with the self-taught artists…than with the mainstream artists he first collected, for his fabulous landscapes refer more to themselves and the territory inside his head than to the terrain of Western art. Lowe’s great discovery in his vernacular collection may have been how to explore his own imaginings freely and express them forcefully.”
Left: The FEMA Trailer of Forbidden Love (watercolor and ink on paper, 8″ x 5″)
Unlike the work of most other folk art enthusiasts-turned- artists, Lowe’s work is never imitative or derivative of the self-taught masters he admires. Instead, it is itself inimitable—futuristic, fantastical, funny, a touch manic and more than a bit obsessive, just like the artist himself. Fans of the cult 1990s absurdist animated/live-action late-night show Space Ghost: Coast to Coast might feel an uncanny kinship; the title character was played by Lowe, who also happens to be an accomplished humorist and voice actor. The Space Ghost: Coast to Coast DVDs are treasured by his fans (or, as he calls them, his “TV friends”), as are his recordings Space Ghost’s Musical Barbeque: Featuring 25 Hickory-Smoked Harmonies and Space Ghost’s Surf and Turf: With 22 Tiki-Torched Tunes.
Lowe’s work is included in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art (Atlanta) and the St. Petersburg (FL) Museum, as well as the corporate collection of CNN/Turner Broadcasting.
The artist with The Road to the Zobanian Consulate, a piece in the permanent collection of the St. Petersburg (FL) Museum of Fine Art.