The Colorful Apocalypse: Journeys In Outsider Art by Greg BottomsThe Colorful Apocalypse: Journeys In Outsider Art by Greg Bottoms

The Colorful Apocalypse: Journeys In Outsider Art

byGreg Bottoms

Paperback | June 12, 2015

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The Reverend Howard Finster was twenty feet tall, suspended in darkness. Or so he appeared in the documentary film that introduced a teenaged Greg Bottoms to the renowned outsider artist whose death would help inspire him, fourteen years later, to travel the country. Beginning in Georgia with a trip to Finster’s famous Paradise Gardens, his journey—of which The Colorful Apocalypse is a masterly chronicle—is an unparalleled look into the lives and visionary works of some of Finster’s contemporaries: the self-taught evangelical artists whose beliefs and oeuvres occupy the gray area between madness and Christian ecstasy.

With his prodigious gift for conversation and quietly observant storytelling, Bottoms draws us into the worlds of such figures as William Thomas Thompson, a handicapped ex-millionaire who painted a 300-foot version of the book of Revelation; Norbert Kox, an ex-member of the Outlaws biker gang who now lives as a recluse in rural Wisconsin and paints apocalyptic visual parables; and Myrtice West, who began painting to express the revelatory visions she had after her daughter was brutally murdered. These artists’ works are as wildly varied as their life stories, but without sensationalizing or patronizing them, Bottoms—one of today’s finest young writers—gets at the heart of what they have in common: the struggle to make sense, through art, of their difficult personal histories.

In doing so, he weaves a true narrative as powerful as the art of its subjects, a work that is at once an enthralling travelogue, a series of revealing biographical portraits, and a profound meditation on the chaos of despair and the ways in which creativity can help order our lives.

Greg Bottoms is professor of English at the University of Vermont. He is the author of six other works of fiction and nonfiction, including Angelhead: My Brother’s Descent into Madness, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
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Title:The Colorful Apocalypse: Journeys In Outsider ArtFormat:PaperbackDimensions:198 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:June 12, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226066878

ISBN - 13:9780226066875

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Table of Contents

PROLOGUE

THE FIRST NOTEBOOK
Visions from Paradise

THE SECOND NOTEBOOK
Revelation Theories

THE THIRD NOTEBOOK
Picture-Perfect Jesus

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Editorial Reviews

"Bottoms is a sophisticated intellectual who does not condescend to, mock or patronise those he has chosen to write about."