He’s the real deal. Words like genuine, original and unique don’t necessarily apply to everyone in the Folk Art world, but they fit Danny Hoskinson almost perfectly. Known everywhere as “The Bucket man,” because his objects are created from empty plastic paint containers after some major modifications with his blow torch, Danny creates figures and creatures reminding you of critters from Star Wars and other classics.

There are gators with swiveling heads, two-headed turtles, swimming bovines. Others are half animal and half some thing else. Nothing created by the Bucket man is scary. Rather, they make you laugh, a great reflection of Danny’s good nature and remarkable sense of humor. I’ve watched admiringly as small children stared in awe at Danny’s distorted figures, knowing they, like their parents, wanted one to go home to a bedroom.

The Bucket man, however, is a serious artist, and totally self-taught. “Where,” he asked me with a giant grin one day at Alabama’s wonderful Kentuck Festival, “would anyone go to school to learn how to use a blowtorch with a plastic paint bucket to turn it into something useful?” I knew the answer then and know it now. After so much publicity, acclaim and sales, many thousand of new fans and collectors rank The Bucket man at the pinnacle of artists who create from the soul.

Danny is the consummate loner, a prototypical country boy who personifies Hank Williams, Jr’s musical pledge, that “A Country Boy Can Survive.” I’m not sure I ever saw him in shoes, whether it was below freezing or on an asphalt pavement in Sahara-like conditions. Danny doesn’t do anything for effect or to show off. What you see is what you get. Delightful, whimsical, raw, likeable and honest. Throw in some smiles and laughter and you get some notion of where his fantastic visions probably come from.

Danny “The Bucket man” does East Tennessee proud. With more and more recognition, his sales are increasing and he deservers the best. Danny tells a story with each creation. There are ancient images embedded in the mountains and valleys of his part of the South. There is a great storytelling tradition as well. That he has transformed this from his minds eye to literally recycle rubbish into a wonderful work of art for a corporate boardroom or a living room where people want brightness and levity in their art is a remarkable achievement.

Danny “The Bucketman” likely isn’t very concerned with his well-earned fame. I came to that conclusion one frosty north Georgia morning when I thought I was going to freeze to death and he, barefooted with a T-shirt on, was showing me some of the new figures he had just brought to life.

I still laugh when I think about him, which I do each day in my den with his grinning winged crocodile staring impishly at me.

The Bucket man has critters you absolutely must see. The best way to find Danny is to call him at 423.284.4941, or write him at P. O. Box 162, Benton, Tennessee 37037. You’ll be a better person for the experience. Danny has a special place in Folk Art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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