Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Outsider Art Panos
These Panos were created by Chicano prisoners on 15" square cotton handkerchiefs purchased in the comassary of the Texas institutions where they were serving their time. Many are tokens of love for Mothers, girlfriends, children, and/or gang members left on the outside. The two examples here were meant for fellow gang members, and the gang iconography and prison symbols are evident. Pieces made for children often have cartoon references and for Mothers, the Virgin Mary is a predominant theme. The panos represent the spirit of the prisoners and are hung on walls awaiting the return of their creators. When the men are released, the panos are taken down and in the past they often were discarded. Nowadays, they are collected by agents and dealers and are finding their way into folk art collections all over the world.