Octavia | Art Gallery
4532 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Mose Tolliver, was born about 1925 near Pintala, Alabama, and lived in Montgomery. During the late 1960's, boredom and long hours of idle time spawned his creativity. Mose works with "pure house paint" on plywood; creating whimsical, haunting and sometimes erotic pictures of wonderfully balanced animals, humans, and flora. A "Quail Bird" may glide over a cotton field, or a spread-leg "Diana" may be straddled over "An Excercise Rack Bicycle. Self portraits with crutches are a repeated image.
Mose was dyslexic, which may have encouraged his artisitic efforts by limiting his reading and writing abilities. He would often turn his paintings upside-down and paint the picture of perhaps an animal and landscape positioned from various directions. Tolliver's titles exhibit a fantastic imagination; "Smoke Charlies," "Scopper Bugs,"or "Jick Jack Suzy Satisfying her own Self."
Tolliver's work has been exhibited at the Philadelphia College of Art, Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, and the Cocoran Gallery of Art. In 1993, a retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City. Mose Tolliver died on October 30, 2006 at a hospital in Montgomery, Alabama, from pneumonia, at 82. Numerous works by Tolliver still remain widely available on the art market.