No, I don’t mean big name art celebs who go straight to auction.
I mean URGENT artists, the starch-fed masses, rabble who… well, are putting their art up for sale on Etsy, a popular handmade crafts site.
Are they doomed to obscurity for making such an inadvisable career move? Perhaps. But, if you are an enterprising curator, they are a garden of outsider artists just waiting to be picked.
That’s what Squcky (William Robert Holland) is. Self-taught, he boasts that he “has taken tried and tested mediums and developed a style all his own.”
Squcky does haunted and hysterical water color and ink drawings that mix Tim-Burtonesque whimsy with street art cahonés.
The quality is definitely mixed, but that’s part of the charm of the whole Squcky collection as you click through it on Etsy.
Oh, and he’s also made a stuffed gun-toting bunny.
My favorite Etsy artist is Matt Crump. He has something in common with many of the Etsy artists that appeal to me: his stuff looks like doodling, but in his case, with acrylics as well as markers. The artist himself states that he paints in order to “avoid his day job.”
Crump’s work looks a lot like Philip Guston with it’s goofy graceless forms. It’s got a bit of the Carrol Dunham about it as well. With a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, Crump’s colorful spacemen and robots lay no claim to any high concepts, but Crump does try “infuse ideas about the mind into the paintings.”
Sarah Giannobile sells some charming paintings on Etsy and lists upcoming events at many art fairs. Her paintings look like madly energetic doodles and splashes.
Switching between muted retro colors and vibrant fruity ones, her paintings are decorative and extremely joyful. But her most stunning creations are the ink drawings of her dreams
Harem6 is a pair of artists, Ildiko Muresan and Flavia Marele, that make sad little anorexic/animal morph dolls and surreal stuffed toys.
maaike is a favorite of mine. $265
Mudcapped relaxes by working in clay. Her objects are biomorphic, textural delights.
Ever changing/ unique handbuilt ceramic sculpture is going for $30. It’s creepy with it’s mangled organic familiarity: like something’s gone terribly wrong.
The charm of craft artists is that there is often more heart than skill that goes into the work. Quality is patchy, but there are real gems and a lot of really excellent design potential.