Alison Saar was born in 1956 and grew up in Laurel Canyon, California. She sees her upbringing as rural and her understanding and love of nature are rooted in that experience. Both parents encouraged their three talented daughters, all artists, to look at a wide range of art, the most inspirational being Outsider Art such as Watts Towers in Los Angeles by the visionary artist Simon Rodia, and Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village in Simi Valley, a complex of buildings with walls from discarded bottles joined with cement. Alison’s fascination with vernacular folk art and the artist’s ability to build an oasis of beauty from cast-off objects had a profound and lasting influence on her.
While in high school, Alison assisted her father in his
restoration work. Dealing
with artifacts from different cultures – Chinese frescoes, Egyptian
mummies, and Pre-Columbian and African art – taught Alison about
properties of various materials, techniques, and aesthetics.
The work of Alison Saar addresses humanity in the
broadest sense. Through the
use of archetypal images,