The Alternative Guide to the Universe exhibition starts at The Hayward Gallery in London next week. Yesterday I posted photographs by Miroslav Tichy. Here is a look at some of Lee Godie‘s self-portraits, another fascinating artist with a quirky story.
Lee Godie (1908-1994) was an American outsider artist based out of Chicago. She married and had three children, but following the death of two of her children and the failure of her marriage she found herself living on the streets of Chicago.
Godie could be found on the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago selling her canvases to passerby. She was known as an eccentric individual claiming to be a French Impressionist and that her work was better than that of Paul Cezanne.
Included in the array of art works that she created are black and white snap shots from photo booths taken of herself dressed up in different personae. She would often embellish certain parts of them by adding color to her lips or nails or painting on darker eye brows.
She was quite particular apparently about who she sold her art to and even to whom she talked to. The price of her canvases would change depending on her mood that day. Her fashion style was just as unique as her personality and she could be seen wearing different swatches of fabric wrapped around herself or fur coats that were pieced together.
The final portrait shown here was taken by Steve Kagan in 1985