This oil on thin paper board (similar to thin cardboard) measures 11-3/8" by 13-3/8 " , with its' frame. The actual painting measures 8" by 10" and is signed by Porter, on the lower right. Please note that I took a digital image of the signature when the painting was out of its' newly added frame.When the painting is in its' frame, about 2/3 of the signature is obscured underneath the frame. The painting is in very good, overall condition.
Porter intentionally created several "textured" areas and these areas should not be mistaken for damage. The 2" wide and 3/4" deep, synthetically made frame has recently been added (new) and is not as old as the painting. If you are unfamiliar with this well known artist you may read the Biography below. Porter was an artist who tested life's boundaries.
Some critics may think Porter was totally insane. Others may call Porter a genius. Whatever your take may be, Porter's paintings take us to a deep, dark place that rivals that of 19th century artist- Vincent Van Gogh and many of the world's other great masters! Whose birth name was Giuseppe Pietro Porta Trinchero Pescarmona, was born in Torino, Italy, in 1902.
Porter had a dramatic life that included riding an Indian Scout Motorcycle from Missourri to Buenos Aires and throughout Latin America; having been arrested in Cairo; being nearly crushed in an earthquake in Managua; mugged in Sacramento, California and spoke 8 languages, among experiencing many other profound events throughout his life. Yet, he is best known as a San Francisco based artist, who battled mental illness and was the creator of those disturbing, haunting and exciting paintings which he called "PALETTE FANTASIES"! Porter began drawing when he was a 5-years-old in Italy. He would scribble on paper used at his mother's store to wrap goods. Porter stated, I always used to get the paper before she could wrap cans.I had first choice at it. Porter trained in the fundamentals of painting, but his job working in his mother's store prevented him from following his passion in life and he ran away from home. For fifteen years, he traveled all over the world, doing all kinds of jobs to survive, while acquiring a practical education. In the 1920's, Porter came to America and acquired an Indian Scout Motorcycle. This would be a motorcycle that he rode from Missouri to Buenos Aires, stopping in most of the countries in between over the next 10 years.
It was during this time that he wrote for "Pan-American Trails", under the name "Jose Porta". Riding through the desert, most of the time Porter didn't know where he was going, as documented in his travels throughout Latin America. From meeting a person with a living iguana around his neck; while also living with local natives; to nearly dying from dehydration and having his motorcycle crushed in an earthquake, Porter trail blazed throughout Central America to many places that no other Americans had ever been. His writing and pictures of his travels were followed by many positive reviews and he became famous. This was before receiving a letter from "The Motorcyclist" in May, 1936, informing him that the upcoming month would be the "conclusion of Pan American Trails".
Once settled in San Francisco, Porter began to paint in earnest. He painted landscapes and portraits; realistic portraits and realistic landscapes and even taught art, after his restaurant failed.
In the mid-1950's, after having painted for 20 years, Porter rebelled. "An artist" he says should not paint what's in front of him. He should paint what's inside of him. He should create a world of his own and let others share it.
During all of his travels he imagined himself painting everything he saw, without tools, without media, just with his mind: and now, all that stored knowledge must come out. It's like liberation of suppressed emotions. A pamphlet that was included with many of his paintings, stated that he, ... Paints from the subconscious without any planning or will of his own. He follows the nebulous theory of creation.As God created the world so does he endeavor to create his paintings. Order comes out of chaos. First it's diffusion of exciting colors worked into a harmonious composition. Then, with nostalgic reverie, he lets his thoughts guide his hand. The places, the people, the incidents, are all real to him. Faint and distant they appear, they pause, and, like a whisper, they are gone. It's exciting, exhilarating and exhausting. Every painting is a different experience and repetition is impossible. Thus are born his PALETTE FANTASIES, a truly fitting name to represent a lifetime of childish curiosity, youthful longings and mature emotions. A friend of Porter's wrote, For approximately 3 decades, from the 1950's to the 1970's, I knew the artist- Joe Porter. When I first met him around 1950, he must have been 40 years (old). Joe stated that he studied and traveled around Europe in the 1940s. During the 1950's, he started out being commissioned to paint. But, he became more and more reclusive. During this time, his painting went from being classically influenced, to being a sort of dream-like abstraction. Joe would lock himself up in his studio for 3 week (weeks) at a time and not talk to anyone.
Often, we wondered if he was still alive or not. Prior to this, after being rejected for an exhibition, he unsuccessfully tried to hang himself.
When Joe finally opened his studio, there would be 50-100 know (new) paintings. Not on actual handwritten biography.
" We never knew if he was joking or actually believed that he was on a divine "mission. When he became popular, it was said that he was invited to an exhibition with other artists to whom he was previously rejected to exhibit with and stood up (on) a chair and told them that they were all Slaves to the trade.
He was removed from the exhibition. He continued to lock himself up in the (his) studio for week (weeks) at a time and once (unannounced), he decided to open up his studio, at midnight. Afterwards, he drank some picture varnish (to try to commit suicide) and had to be hospitalized. By the mid-1970's, I had only seen Joe every once in a while. It appeared that he had some kind of personality disorder.
He would change from being normal, to being in another world talking to himself... I believe his fantasy/abstract paintings were done when he was in the "other" state. Unfortunately, Joe would not let anyone in his studio when he was painting. So we may never know. Porter definitely had a rebellious attitude, but didn't isolate himself all the time.
He continued to teach art from his studio, He enjoyed making appearances at fairs and festivals. At the same time, his painting's were still being exhibited at some of the Bay Area's top galleries. Zora Galleries and Cory Galleries exhibited Porter's paintings alongside the art done by many famous artists, including Salvador Dali. Despite his success, few knew that Porter was now riding the fine line between genius and madness.Exactly the way when my wife died... I had a nervous breakdown and stopped painting. That's when I first began to see screaming demons every time I closed my eyes to sleep. Demons started screeching and screaming at. For two months, I shut myself from the world. I refused to see anybody, even my agent. I tried to explain once to Valerie. She didn't believe me. Marika, please bring me a good writing pen. I have nothing to write with.
I tried to explain it to you once. You didn't believe me.
Now, you'd better believe me. She'll put me in the hospital and anything can happen. I'll try to bluff it, and don't let her take me in.First let concentrate on what we can get out of me- dicare? As my caretaker, you and Ed should get more than a thousand dollars a month, plus food stamps and medication we might get by.
Let' not tell her too much. I want to stay home under your care. We are doing all right. Whe(n) we get home I will have to find a way to get rid of these demons. It can't last forever.
I'll try to relax and not worry about anything. Do not force too much food on me. Let me decide what I can stand. I'll do my best to cooperate. I won't die by cutting down my food for a few days.It might even increase my life. Bring me a good writing pen. On December 15, 1986, Porter finished 2nd in the world in the 6th International Literary Awards, held by Manuscripts International. Less than 3 years later and in his true rebellious spirit, Porter was writing articles under the alias "Ciao Pinin" for "Tales of Adventure". The item "VINTAGE JOSEPH PORTER ORIGINAL ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM OIL PAINTING SIGNED" is in sale since Wednesday, February 08, 2017. This item is in the category "Art\Art from Dealers & Resellers\Paintings". The seller is "onlyart4you" and is located in Seminole, Florida. This item can be shipped to United States, to Canada, to United Kingdom, DK, RO, SK, BG, CZ, FI, HU, LV, LT, MT, EE, to Australia, GR, PT, CY, SI, to Japan, SE, KR, ID, to Taiwan, ZA, to Belgium, to France, to Hong Kong, to Ireland, to Netherlands, PL, to Spain, to Italy, to Germany, to Austria, IL, to Mexico, to New Zealand, SG, NO, SA, UA, AE, QA, KW, BH, HR, MY, CO, PA, JM, BB, BD, BM, BN, BO, EC, EG, GF, GG, GI, GP, IS, JE, JO, KH, KY, LI, LK, LU, MC, MO, MQ, MV, NI, OM, PE, PK, PY, RE.