Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Kansas Original: M.T. Liggett

Yesterday, I wrote about one of Kansas' two most famous outsider artists, S.P Dinsmoor. Today it's time for the second one, a living artist named M.T. Liggett, who works in a small town named Mullinville in the southwestern part of the state.

Liggett prolifically cuts and welds metal into emanations of his stream of consciousness, then paints them. There are plenty of kinesthetic sculptures made of scrap objects and road signs, as well as homages to many women, each adorned with her name.

Liggett's work lines about a hundred yards of the main highway, but an even bigger show can be found outside his studio at the corner of South and Elm Avenues.

Many of the sculptures are just interesting characters or animals.

A number of the pieces are hung on fences or gates, which run along the road for hundreds of yards.

Close-up of the faces on the Dog Patch fence.

Liggett is well-known for his off-the-wall political commentaries. Most would be considered conservative or even reactionary (from memorializing the Branch Davidians to calling Janet Reno and Patricia Ireland "femme porcus," complete with a spotted pig):

So simple and to the point, yet so paranoid.

The reddish-brown sign in the middle of this one reads "Dump the hicks in ninety-six," and is flanked by cow-like heads labeled Prince Albert and Slick Willie.

But then there's this one reviling Fred Phelps of the Wesboro Baptist Church:

Either way, it seems that Liggett has felt the disapproval of his fellow citizens of Mullinville.

And they have, in turn, earned his scorn.

Which goes to show you, when an outsider artist is involved, interesting fences don't always make good neighbors.


Carmella said...

I love this stuff! Keep it coming. I hope I find some good road trip material in SD and WY... if our wagon ever returns from the shop. Sigh.

MarshaQ said...

Both of these artists--amazing. Thank you.

frankensue said...

Seen the Enchanted Highway in northern North Dakota? One artist has been creating huge metal sculptures along the road hoping to bring more tourists to his small town. It's very impressive. Here's a link to the site:

We came across it a couple years ago driving out to Washington and British Columbia.

Daughter Number Three said...

Thanks, frankensue -- I'll definitely visit the Enchanted Highway if/when I head toward North Dakota.