American Folk Art
Rudolph Valentino Bostic: A Fond Farewell Show
Exclusive Website Preview & Sales begin: Tuesday October 5th, 2021 at WWW.AMERIFOLK.COM
Opens in the Gallery: Thursday October 7th, 2021 at 64 Biltmore Avenue, Downtown Asheville
On June 4th, 2021, American Folk Art and indeed, the art world, lost one of the dearest visionary artists of our time: Rudolph Valentino Bostic. Beginning on October 5th through October 21st, AFA will be holding a 'Farewell' show in Mr. Bostic's honor. “Mr. Bostic's sister, Caroline, invited me to choose 12 of her family's collection to share with the gallery's friends and supporters. We wanted to be surrounded once again with the beauty of Rudolph’s creations. Caroline's offer was so generous; she, better than most, knows the spirit captured in his artwork,” says gallery-owner Betsey-Rose Weiss.
Rudy's earliest artwork was painted on the walls of his Sunday school classroom, giving the world a glimpse into the beautiful mind of the otherwise withdrawn child. As an adult, working in a bakery, it was discovered that he saw visions in other places, including the cardboard boxes in which baking ingredients were delivered. He asked permission to take certain boxes home, and eventually shared his art with his boss. His boss was amazed and began seeking representation for Mr. Bostic in various galleries around the South. This is how he came to the attention of Asheville's American Folk Art Gallery. Now, Mr. Bostic’s work is in many prominent collections, including the permanent collection at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA.
His deep visual imagination and artistic abilities opened many eyes to the concept of 'Visionary Art': things not seen, but felt, and often inspired by visions of God. Rudy's certainly were…while he painted on humble cardboard, his vivid colors and bold sharpie outlines have the feel & glow of a stained glass window. His depictions of saints, pilgrims & angels are the foundation of his inspiration, but his imagination was also captured by mythology and his increasing dream states.
“Many of our conversations drifted to visits he made to deceased loved ones within his dreams…most recently, we spoke of his brother and going 'behind the veil' to visit. It’s only in retrospect that I now wonder if Rudy was telling me he wasn't just visiting, but that he was ready to join his brother,” says Weiss.
Rudy's spirit was so innocent, his death came as a double shock: that he was gone, and that he was nearly 80 years old. Join us, on our website or in the gallery, as we bid a fond farewell to our dear Rudolph Valentino Bostic.