I happened upon a great commentary from Walter Mosely on NPR a little while ago about the idea of creating your own personal pocket art collection so that you become “the curator, the critic, as well as the patron” of your own pocket art gallery.
Pocket art is not a new idea. Miniature portraits were popular from the 16th to the early 19th centuries where small paintings were carried as remembrances of loved ones, and paintings on personal items such as jewelry and snuff box covers. With the invention of early photography in the 19th century, however, miniature paintings fell out of popularity.
Purchasing larger works of original art is out of reach for many people and over the last several years, the pocket art movement has been making a comeback. It has taken the form of ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) ACEO’s (Art Cards Editions and Originals) and sculptures small enough to fit in your pocket. Art galleries have conducted “mini-art” shows and there are even vending machines converted from retired cigarette machines that dispense small pieces of original art.
Pocket art need not be a purchased item that fits neatly into a specific genre. The choice is yours, it could be a stone that catches your eye, a leaf or flower you carry around for the day, a favourite poem – something that is meaningful to you. Whether purchased or found, pocket art is a great idea to carry as a reminder that beauty and art is present in whatever we may be doing and wherever we may go.