Bahamian Folk Artist Amos Ferguson

Feb 2013
Outsider Art. It conjures up all sorts of images for me and I am completely smitten by those working in the primitive style.  I was recently introduced to the Bahamian folk artist Amos Ferguson, one of the most well known intuitive artists of the area.

Born on the island of Exuma,{1920-2009} his work is full of spiritual themes and references to the lifestyle of the islands. He became a painter at the age of 40 after working with his hands as a furniture re-finisher and house painter. Preferring those house paints to acrylics or oils, he used recycled cardboard, pizza boxes and plywood instead of canvas for his paintings and tools like the heads of nails to make perfect circles. He worked at his kitchen table incorporating simple shapes and quirky subject matter into his brightly colored works.

It wasn’t until he was discovered by a New York collector in the 1970’s that his work took off and he started to achieve the recognition he so richly deserved. Exposure at a show in the U.S. brought him fame in the Bahamas, and a new found respect in his own country.

Ferguson was a deeply religious man who said “I paint by faith not by sight” and signed his paintings with a simple Paint by Mr. Amos Ferguson.

Take a peek at this trailer to a documentary of his work Match Me If You Can.

Amos Ferguson – Match Me if You Can (trailer) from ARTISTS OF THE BAHAMAS on Vimeo.