The Reverend Howard Finster was twenty feet tall, suspended in darkness. Or so he appeared in the documentary film that introduced a teenaged Greg Bottoms to the renowned outsider artist whose death would help inspire him, fourteen years later, to travel the country. Beginning in Georgia with a trip to Finster's famous Paradise Gardens, his journey--of which "The Colorful Apocalypse" is a masterly chronicle--is an unparalleled look into the lives and visionary works of some of Finster's contemporaries: the self-taught evangelical artists whose beliefs and oeuvres occupy the gray area between madness and Christian ecstasy. With his prodigious gift for conversation and quietly observant…
Greg Bottoms' writing has been published in "Salon," "Feed," "Nerve," & "The Beacon Best of 1999." He lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.