Folk Art Revealed
Symbolism
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Some of the most visually potent examples of folk art are those that speak through symbolic language. In these artworks symbols are used as shorthand for revealing complex meanings through graphic representations. The use of symbols can be inclusive, expressing widely recognized ideas and experiences, or exclusionary, as in the arcane symbolic systems of “secret” societies such as the Freemasons. When the symbols pass from common usage or stem from a personal vision, we no longer hold the key to understanding their original meanings. Works become mysterious and subject to new interpretations.