Outsider Art

Post image for From Outside to Inside on Chicago’s North Side

CHICAGO — Outsider art is an overused, perhaps even misused, term. By a strict definition it refers to someone who makes art outside the official and even unofficial milieu in which artists get training, education, and exhibitions.

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Post image for The Sci-Fi Writer Who Used Photography to Search for Ancient Aliens

In the 1940s, science fiction fans were gripped by tales of an underworld of nefarious beings preying on the humans up above.

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Post image for Smithsonian Brings Self-Taught Art to the Masses with James Castle

Using spit and soot, artist James Castle communicated with the world. Castle, who was deaf, spent his life in Idaho, using art as his main outlet; he never signed, spoke, or wrote in any direct way.

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Post image for When Outsider Art and Christmas Collide

It’s easy to get obsessive around the holidays, what with the frantic shopping and cheerful imbibing and decorations to be placed. But some take it a long step further.

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Post image for A Visit to an Overlooked Folk Art Cave of Crystals

MEMPHIS — Secreted in a cemetery in Memphis is a meditative work of 1930s folk art, a man-made cave created from five tons of quartz crystal and a unique process of turning concrete to wood.

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Post image for Why Was a Major Outsider Art Survey 91.3% Male?

LONDON — A major survey of outsider art, Hayward Gallery’s Alternative Guide to the Universe closed on August 26. It was a show featuring many of outsider art’s most prolific practitioners of the last several decades, all under the aegis of providing institutional space for “alternative” modes of knowledge. Yet of the Alternative Guide’s 23 artists, only two were female.

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Post image for Do We Still Need to Defend Outsider Art?

Apparently we do. From an art critic, of all people.

In last week’s Village Voice, critic Christian Viveros-Faune wrote what would have been a great review of the current Llyn Foulkes retrospective at the New Museum — if he hadn’t started the piece with an inexplicable three-paragraph screed against outsider art.

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Post image for Melbourne’s Selfie Mecca

MELBOURNE, Australia — Cycling around the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, I noticed a small shop entirely covered in photographs: the shop-front, the door, the lintel, everything. I stopped. Was it the work of someone with an obsessive-compulsive disorder? Was it some kind of art installation? When I met Vittorio, the proprietor, I learned that this was a work of self-portraiture on an incredible scale.

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Post image for EXCLUSIVE: Meet Artists from Creative Growth Center on Pharrell’s YouTube Channel

If you’re an art-loving person, there’s a good chance you’ve seen work by artists from the Creative Growth Center. Their art has been shown in galleries and museums worldwide; you might, for instance, have strolled past some of it at last fall’s Rosemarie Trockel retrospective at the New Museum. But you might not know just what the Creative Growth Center is, or what it does, or who the artists are.

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The Museum of Everything

by Allison Meier on April 3, 2013

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PARIS — For a brief time, a former Catholic seminary on Paris’ classy Boulevard Raspail was overtaken with a psychoanalyst’s jubilee of art from self-taught creators who worked in secret or seclusion, in mental asylums or hospitals, or just from their own particular perspective of the world. The Museum of Everything is a traveling exhibition started by British filmmaker James Brett in 2009 that’s been widely successful in its unique curation of overlooked art.

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