First published: Summer 2016
The town of Sebastopol, in Sonoma County (unusually verdant these days, after the return of rains this winter), is a prosperous bedroom community an hour north of San Francisco. Despite having become a commuter town for the city, the area still retains traces of its agricultural origins, the old apple orchards now transformed into vineyards supplying local wineries. A quick internet search reveals that Sebastopol, possibly named for a battle of the Crimean war, has been home to such diverse notables as Luther Burbank, Jerry Garcia, Johnny Otis, Mario Savio, Charles M. Schulz and Tom Waits.
Art Moura at his 2015 exhibition, photo courtesy: Angela Izzo and The Good Luck Gallery, Los Angeles.
To this list one might someday add – should outsider art achieve mass appeal – the artist Art Moura, who is perhaps something of a local institution already. Because of the traffic disruptions caused by the Apple Blossom Festival, I met Moura at a local coffee shop and followed his art car, an old Volvo wagon covered with dolls and doll parts (the least aerodynamic additions having been removed for the sake of fuel economy), to his home and studio, a mind-bending artist environment in the mold of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist Merzbau environments, and reminiscent at times of James Ensor’s paintings of masked figures, though with a decidedly primitive bent, evoking the art of Oceania (well represented by the terrific and terrifying Jolika Collection at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park).
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #90