Arbus Magazine May/June 2011 : 64

Find “Paradise” A M O N G F I N S T E R ’ S W O R K AT M O C A By Ben Thompson AN EVANGELISTIC PREACHER IN PAINT AND SELF-PROCLAIMED MAN OF VISIONS, the Rev. Howard Finster became one of the most widely known and prolific self-taught artists, producing more than forty-six thousand pieces of art by his death in 2001. Finster often referred to himself as "a stranger from another world" and "God's last red light on the planet earth." He saw himself as a sacred artist, fulfilling his visionary prophesies revealed to him by God through a heavenly, outer space world. Thus, Finster believed he was to disperse warnings to people to save their souls from the horrors of hell. These experiences were very real to Finster and provided a seemingly limitless variety of images for his art, and content for his rapid fire, stream of consciousness monologues. Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster provides an in-depth survey of his career, covering the variety of themes inherent in his work, much of it relating to his visionary experiences, including: Visions of Other Worlds , Sermons in Paint , Historical and Cultural Heroes and The Plant Farm Museum [Paradise Garden] . On display at The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida, from April 22 to August 28, the exhibi-tion is curated by Glen C. Davies and is organized by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Krannert Art Museum. 64 may/june 2011 • a r b u s m a g a z i n e

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