Toby Ivey (1944-2007) - Folk Art
Self-taught artist Toby Ivey utilizes a symbolic language composed of "visions on paper," to create paintings that possess both a childlike naivete and a strong sense of wisdom. A self-ordained minister, Ivey has been painting since 1996 and, for several years, sold his work roadside in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. His paintings address the good and evil inherent in all humanity and incorporate images that the artist refers to as "protective spirits."
The mystery of Toby Ivey's work lies in the fact that the language of his paintings is obviously deliberate - recognizable symbols are repeated throughout his work - but their meanings are less clear. The colorful paintings conjure up thoughts of biblical scenes and storybook illustrations, and they share a symbolic language that parallels some of the most sought-after imagery in African-American self-taught art.
Ivey was born in Thompson, Georgia in 1944. He was a self-ordained minister living and working in Atlanta until his death in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Magazine).