First published: Spring 2000
Sunk ten feet below sea level, New Orleans, America's most palpably historical city, is steeped in the convergence of European, Caribbean and African cultures. It has attracted and inspired numerous outsider artists. Its art is connected with and literally created from the city itself as much as from its primary religious influences: Catholicism and Vodou.
As Vodou has incorporated the iconography of Catholicism for its own purposes, New Orleans's artists practice mélange. In both Vodou and this art, diverse elements, often culled from the streets, are combined to create powerful, totemic and startling objects. These elements extend and inform both art and religion.
Much of the religion is concerned with physical and spiritual healing and salvation through magical objects, both of the self and the gorgeous, decaying city. Of the nine artists discussed here, none not native to New Orleans created art before moving to the city.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #30