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WHIRLINGS: THE ART OF PETER GELKER. Lynn Gamwell. Grand Central Press, Santa Ana, 2015. 84 pp. with 63 col. ills. 20 x 25 cm. ISBN 9780935314946 In English.
Publisher's description: A breeze blows, a wheel turns, a soldier springs to life and spears a giant spider. Such fanciful woodcarvings are in the American Folk Art tradition of whirligigs, which is continued today by Peter Gelker in his twirling figures in the throws of myths, dreams, and nightmares. Gelker was introduced to whirligigs by his father, a machinist, who learned to carve growing up in the Depression-era Midwest near the Ozarks. Gelker left rural life and manual labor for an academic life in California, where he enrolled in medical school and studied psychiatry. But his rural roots kept sprouting and flowering in his passion for crafting metaphors for the human mind -- and its neurological substrate -- which he encountered on his day-job. Thus Gelker senior passed a Folk Art tradition on to his son, who makes serious toys for a mad-cap world. Whirligigs have a place in the history of psychiatry, in which Gelker holds an M.D., and psychoanalysis, in which he is certified. Sigmund Freud recognized that people use jokes to inflict pain (he collected "Jewish jokes"), but Freud also stressed the healing power of humor (The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious, 1905).
Artist(s):Gelker, Peter
Indexing: Unspecified
Plans: 73
Worldwide Number: 168916
Paperbound $24.95    

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