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 Guy Franke Cobb  (1963 - )

About: Guy Franke Cobb


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Lived/Active: Tennessee/Missouri      Known for: landscapes, florals

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Guy Franke Cobb
Braille Sunflowers
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information was submitted in July of 2006 by the artist:

Guy Cobb was born in 1963 and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.  In 1977 Guy and his family were transferred to Jackson, Mississippi where Guy attended four years of high school and one year at Ole Miss before leaving school to join his older brother, Ty Cobb, as a co-founder and performer with the Bud Light Daredevils.  The Bud Light Daredevils were an acrobatic basketball show who performed during the half-time of NBA and college basketball games.  The BLD performed throughout all 50 states, Europe, Japan, China, Norway, South America, Australia, Israel, and Puerto Rico and were featured on major television shows.

In 1985 Guy moved to the Missouri Ozarks and began painting during the Daredevil's off-season.  His paintings, which he calls his "thorn paintings" are sheets of metal covered with layers of mixed media, including paint, arrows, and locust tree thorns.  These paintings explore the relationship between Faith, isolation and violence in the rural heartland.  Art critic John Simmons wrote of Guy's work, "'Down in the Valley of Rural Violence' is typical of what Cobb calls his 'thorn paintings.'  His use of tortured metal, abstract forms and an overlay of projecting thorns all combine in this and the other paintings in the series to produce statements of anger and frustration.  An environment that should be peaceful, pastoral, and filled with the beauty of nature is invaded and degraded by human corruption.  These paintings seem to cry out in protest . . ." Art critic Camille Howell wrote of Guy's exhibit "...incorporating barbed wire, locust tree thorns and arrow tips, and painted on metal sheets that have been blasted with shotgun pellets, Cobb's works are unsettling, disquieting, and impossible to ignore."

In 1988 and 1989 Guy returned to Ole Miss to study poetry and creative writing under Southern novelist Barry Hannah.  He has seen both his poetry and photography published in the literary magazine Type and in 2001 his play, Garden at Memphis received a staged reading at "Theatre Works" in Memphis.

In 1991 Guy married and settled in Memphis where his paintings underwent a dramatic shift from the contemplation of rural isolation and suffering to an exploration of "color therapy" for individuals who suffer from depression and mental illness.  Guy's "Tennessee" paintings reflect influences from the school of Fauve's Matisse, Derain, and Dufy, to Rothko's color fields and Mississippian Walter Anderson's natural scenes from Horn Island.

In 2004 Guy began to experiment with his color-therapy works by using heavily textured acrylics to create a series of what he calls his “Braille paintings”.  These works incorporate Braille directly into the paintings to not only allow the visually impaired and blind to interpret his contemporary art by touch, but also provide a striking awareness to the sighted of what it must the blind cannot see.  Both the sighted and blind are encouraged to touch these works.

Permanent Collections:

Birzeit University Art Museum, Birzeit, Palestine
Children’s Museum of Memphis, Nashville, Tennessee
Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Mississippi
Dixon Gallery & Gardens Education Collection, Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Education Collection, Memphis, Tennessee
Mississippi Museum of Art Education Collection, Jackson, Mississippi
National Ornamental Metal Museum
The Renaissance Center, Dickson, Tennessee
Tennessee State Museum, Nashville

He is a member of the Artists Right Society, New York, New York

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