Mike Ousley

Region: South

 Mike Ousley paints a direct commentary on Appalachian life and folk traditions, though their simplicity belies their depth. Ousley has painted since childhood, and though trained, he foils Western European traditions with the folk style of his youth. Born the son of a coal miner in Eastern Kentucky and having traveled all around Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ousley envisions his paintings as ballads to the people, places, and culture of the region. Subverting stereotypical perceptions with dark humor and a played-up naïveté, his paintings seek to reclaim the Appalachian folk narrative and position it as one of toughness and resourcefulness, of roots and pride that run deep.