Leslie Lovell, Savannah GA

Panhandle Slim - Folk Art

Panhandle Slim doesn’t necessarily classify himself as a folk artist — he just says he likes to “paint ART for FOLK.” The professional skateboarder - turned musician - turned artist is quickly becoming a Savannah institution: his artwork is ubiquitous in the downtown. His flat-planed pop culture creations are infused with equal parts sensitive insight and tongue-in-cheek wit. Slim’s paintings have depicted everyone from former President Jimmy Carter to Amy Winehouse to Batman. He says he’s influenced by “a mix between Howard Finster and Wesley Willis.”

Slim started making art after going to a gallery and being unable to afford the art he liked. “So I just thought I’d try it myself.” He began painting the musicians whose music he was listening to most, pulling quotes and inspiration from their songs. He mainly paints on found objects (boards, used signs, scraps, and occasionally thrifted paintings), saying, “Painting on materials/surfaces that I find is rewarding. I take someone’s trash, put some paint on it and then someone else sees newfound beauty in it and it goes back in someone’s house."