The great thing about art is that it doesn’t require any special training or education. All that’s needed is the urge to create and access to the necessary tools. Make is a documentary that tells the stories of four artists with disabilities who dwelled at the edges of mainstream society, but still managed to create unique and provocative works. One of the artists, Judith Scott, had Down’s Syndrome and found her medium in intricate sculptures of yarn and found objects. Another artist, Royal Robertson, coped with mental illness and painted strangely beautiful images that fused elements of pop culture and religious iconography.
Many artists with disabilities don’t have the wherewithal to promote their own work and are dependent on others, like the producers of this documentary, to get the public’s attention. It makes me wonder about all the anonymous people who created something worth preserving while living in institutions, psychiatric hospitals, and group homes across the country, but whose work is now lost because it was discarded by a family member or caregiver.
Make is showing at the Rico/Maresca Gallery in New York on Saturday evenings through May 2nd.