I am staying at a Hampton Inn that is blanketed with Warren Kimble's disturbing work, and every time I see one of his primitive human figures, disproportionate landscapes populated by stick figure trees, or non isometric barns / homes/ buildings, it's a cross between cringing, wincing, shuddering, and a thorough sense of revulsion. Kimble's website lists his work as "American folk art", but I see it as a twisted expression of an elderly mind who sees the world and paints it in a way tremendously skewed from what I consider beautiful, expressive, pleasing, or artistic. He touches a nerve, but it's like the nerve that is touched during a root canal, or nails down a black board, or the stench of the East Chicago waste water treatment plant, or decomp.
Take for example the painting of what might be a "girl" that greets me each time I exit the elevator. Creepy. I can't tell if it's a "she", an achondroplasic, a person with fragile X, a mennonite zombie, or all 4 mixed together. I do not see the image as beautiful, and I've taken to intentionally averting my eyes. On his buildings, every single building shows two sides with identically sized and shaped rectangular windows that deny any kind of correct perspective. Every tree I've seen on nearly a dozen "paintings" in this hotel is a gravity and wind defying thin 'stick figure' with identical 'umbrella like' foliage. I sketched things in 3rd and 4th grade that were better quality, more pleasing to the eye, and less disturbing.
Warren Kimble's work falls into the latter category.
1 year ago