A Closer Look
Howard Finster liked to decorate objects with paintings of things that were familiar to him. This piece is a prefabricated bottle that he has painted. It has a cylindrical three-dimensional form. The light hitting it from the right side in this photograph emphasizes its form. Find an object around your home that no one needs anymore. Paint things that you know about, like your neighborhood, school, or an event on the object. You may have to make your painting small for it to fit.
About the Sculpture
Most of Howard Finster’s artworks are painted on pieces of wood cut into shapes with a jigsaw, but this is a giant plastic bottle. He has made many pieces based on Coca-Cola bottles, and the Coca-Cola Company is one of his greatest fans. In 1995 the company commissioned Finster to paint the eight foot plastic Coke Bottle to represent the United States at the Olympics. Like most of Finster’s works, Coke Bottle is completely covered with words and pictures.
About the Artist
Howard Finster was an untrained artist, sometimes called a folk or outsider artist. He was a preacher from Georgia, who claimed an angel visited him and told him to paint 5,000 works of sacred art. He made many artworks during his lifetime, but perhaps his greatest work of art is Paradise Gardens, a two-and-a-half acre swamp that he drained himself and filled with his art.
Write About It
- Make a list of what you see.
- How did the artist use the elements and principles of design?
- What do you think the sculpture means? How does it make you feel?
- Select two sculptures to compare & contrast.