Private Art in Public Places, is a documentation of painted images on suburban garage doors in the Midwest, primarily in the Chicago Area. The garage door art appears before Facebook, Instagram, or any form of social media. It is self motivated done between 1989 and 2007.
Paintings are usually created by the homeowner or the homeowner has commissioned an artist. They present images unique to their own visual experience, some images are decorative or mainstream some are fantasy some are symbolic. I have not observed political or religious messages in this format.
I became interested because the art is so personal, it's large speaks about the individuals living in common residential neighborhoods. The homeowners have chosen to distinguish themselves from their neighbors and subdivision architecture in a very special manner.
Questions; why did they do this? Do they consider themselves artists? Do they consider themselves outsiders? Are they extraverts looking for an outlet, are they just enthusiasts for DYI projects? Am I just too wrapped up in the academic desire to categorize every brush stroke and creative effort? My conclusion, the works are created and presented by the homeowners for their own enjoyment.
Pete Seger said in the introduction to The Mural Manual, (Public Workshop, 1973). “Not all artists will agree with each other, of course. No matter. Their non-commercial pictures will carry an important message:
We are not 100% at the mercy of the media. We can communicate with each other through color, line, and form and as independent human beings, our content is going to be different from what is ground out on the drawings boards of commerce”.