Great and Mighty Artist of the Day:
Born Good Hope, Louisiana, 1898; died Moran City, Louisiana, 1997
David Butler began making art after a series of life-changing events. His various manual labor jobs—in sawmills and road construction—ended in 1962 with a work-related injury, and his wife died in 1968. In the early 1970s, when Butler was in his mid-seventies, he began adorning his yard in Patterson, Louisiana, with colorful, cut-metal painted sculptures, mostly of fanciful subjects such as whirligigs and critters, and with decorated objects like bird feeders, mailboxes, and bicycles. Butler also made cut-metal window screens for the outside of his house, both to control the light inside and as “spirit shields” against evil forces. Butler’s work was included in the important 1982 exhibition Black Folk Art in America, 1930–1980 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C . The works in his fanciful yard environment were eventually dispersed into galleries, museums, and private collections.
See his work in Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, opening March 3!