Joseph Yoakum’s organic drawings in watercolor, pastel, colored pencils, and chalk express a collision of the real and the imagined. For many years after the artist came to public recognition it was assumed that the locales he depicted were a product of a prodigious imagination, even though he claimed to have traveled to each site. As the advance man for an itinerant circus, Yoakum enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle that entailed extensive travel. Scholars have now allowed for the possibility that the vistas are based in truth, though they may be embellished by the artist’s creative imagination.
Stacy C. Hollander, "German Sumarine in world war-2./Found near Tunis of Junisia Proviance of Africa," exhibition label for Jubilation|Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2012.