Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jack Baron, Artist

I almost walked past the exhibit at the Art and History Museum on Front Street but the astonishingly bright colors sucked me in. Whoa! I thought, primitivism writ large!
Besides, I have a penchant for pink, exhibited in my own small way with my Crocs, my iPad cover and my phone holder, so how could I not take a peak at something with a label like this?
I had never previously heard of Jack Baron, my loss as a quick scan of a bio on the Gingerbread Square website showed me quite clearly this was a man with talent.
Apparently Baron was 78 years old when he died in Key West in 2005. A native of new York he spent 52 years with his partner Robert, who it turns out was the man responsible for giving him the push to express himself in paint and tapestry. Because if you look closely these "paintings" are made not from paint:
Baron's work deserves a closer look and from my perspective, not being an art critic or anything, I was simply bowled over by the notion that someone could crotchet or knit or whatever a full sized portrait like this, an act of faith and patience byond my ken:
The Museum in the red brick Old Customs House has habit of doing this to me, surprising me and delighting me when I least expect it. I mean, you go and expect to see interesting historical exhibits, or Hemingway memorabilia, But Jack...Who? What a great find.

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