Yesterday, I made the claim that Danny Hoskinson, better known as "The Bucketman" is America's greatest living folk artist. I stand by that claim, and hope that it will cause all of you to investigate further. "Folk art" is a slippery slope--filled with exploitation, condescension...and lots of bad bad art. Danny Hoskinson embodies all of the good things about folk art. He has a keen ear for stories--both contemporary and traditional, and tells a story with each of his objects. In the five years since I encountered his art, he has won considerably more recognition, and it doesn't seem to have affected him in the least. Danny lives in East Tennessee, along the Ocoee river, and has filled his world with all of the creatures that his imagination can squeeze out. The piece that I own was created after he saw Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes. It consists of an overturned 5-gallon bucket that has been sculpted into an ape head. There is a separate piece--a statue of liberty monkey hand holding a torch with a votive candle holder. Danny knows how to add special touches to each piece--like the candleholder...and the Lee Press-on nails that he added to the fingers.
He doesn't shy away from mingling the contemporary with the mythical and historical, his art simply creates its own world. I love that the buckets are a 20th/21st century on traditions like face jugs and totem poles. Internet resources on Danny are unfortunately hard to come by--here's an article, a website from a collective he belongs to, and finally, Danny's BRAND NEW WEBSITE! It's a little thin to start out with, but I'm really glad it's there. He intends to update it faithfully. If you're ever passing through Tennessee, you can visit him at his new "Roadside Bizarre". It's located at 1618 Highway 64, 1/2 mile west of Ocoee Lake.