Joe Fafard - Funk Art and the Regina Clay Movement: A Conversation with Timothy Long
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I recently did an exhibition called Regina Clay:  Worlds in the Making which gave me a change to examine the connection between ceramic artists here in this province and how they were inspired by [an] art movement in California which we think of as or call California Funk Movement.  California Funk came out of the San Francisco Bay area in the early 60s featuring artists like Robert Arneson, Roy Deforest and David Gilhooly.  And these artists were very important for a number of the artists here in Saskatchewan like…names like Victor Cicansky, Joe Fafard, and Russell Yuristy, among others.  And it’s interesting because it served as a kind of a foil to the story of the Regina Five.  With the Regina Five, you had artists who were very much inspired by what was going on in New York and really adopted that mode of art production - large-scale, abstract, non-representational painting.  With the Regina Clay group, there’s a similarity in that they’re looking to the United States, but they’re looking to the other coast – the West Coast - and taking inspiration from the funky, sort of bad taste aesthetic that was emerging there.  But instead of attempting to imitate their style, instead they imitated their attitude and used it to free themselves from the expectations that had grown up around the Regina Five, the idea that you had to look to New York, and that you had to look elsewhere.  Instead they took the Funk inspiration and looked towards their own circumstances, their own environment, as their inspiration.  And so you had Joe Fafard starting to create images of the family and friends that he knew from growing up in a small town in southern Saskatchewan, or Vic Cicansky taking the kind of outhouses and ramshackle buildings of the east side of Regina and making those the inspiration for his artwork.  So it’s…I find it a really fascinating comparison between the two groups.  And when you look at the Regina Five, you’re inspired by their ambition.  But when you look at the Regina Clay artists, you’re really inspired by the way that they made this region come alive in their artwork.

Duration: 3:35 min
Size: 15198kb

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