Outsider Art

Helen Stuart By Helen Stuart, 1st May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2w761yq-/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Forms & Genres

What is considered Outsider Art? Some of the most striking pieces in the art world could be classified as "Outsider."

Outsider Art and It's Origins

Outsider art is art created by people who would never consider themselves artists. They are so outside the cultural mainstream that their creations are manifested for themselves alone, "private theater." They use any medium at hand to fulfill a compulsive need to express themselves with no mindset of any audience. Many Outsider Artists are Schizophrenic, Psychotic, Naive, Intuitive, or simply living on the fringes of society. But no true Outsider artist is even familiar with the term Outsider Artist.

Synonymous with Outsider Art is Art Brut. Art Brut is artist Jean DeBuffet's term for a 1945 collection he cherished, stemming from a book, "Artistry of the Mentally Ill," published in 1922 by Dr.Hans Prinzhorn. Art Brut literally means Raw Art. The art was uncooked by rules of artistic "value" or even cultural merit or style. The surrealists were greatly moved by the collection and found themselves re-evaluating their own artistic integrity. However the term" Art Brut" is not permitted to be used except for the pieces in the collection d l'art Brut in Lausanne, and likewise, only that museum can designate a new piece as Art Brut.

However, in 1972 Roger Cardinal wrote a book entitled " Outsider Art" and Americans (and the rest of the world) had a term for their raw art at last. To many the phrase Outsider Art seems discriminatory. But true outsider art is very different from what the world has come to think of as art since the first statues of fertility goddesses and the first cave paintings. Art is usually a communication. The artist creates for his or her pleasure but always with the idea of an audience. Using technique to convey beauty, emotion, spirituality, an endless number of responses. The Outsider creates only for himself and creates a great , if not beautiful, honesty. The Watts towers in Los Angeles is an example of Outsider Art, built by immigrant Italian, Rhodia, and his art brut counterpart is Cheval, the French postman who toiled for 30 years on the Palais Ideal.

Many other forms of art are now confused with Outsider Art. Primarily confused is Neuve Invention. Also powerful and inventive, neuve invention is executed by people who may be untrained artists but have greater contact with society and may even try to sell their artwork or have connections with galleries. This is still a valid form of art, but varies greatly from Outsider Art and Raw Art in that it has even a seed of awareness of itself as art, to be consumed and rated by by an audience.

Contrary to what the name what infer, Outsider Art is totally encompassed by the broader circle of fine fine art.



Art, Art By The Mentally Ill, Outsider Art, Tramp Art

Meet the author

author avatar Helen Stuart
I've spent most of my life in the Deep South, and I love animals, nature, and what makes my fellow humans tick. I have an obsession with self-expression, I write, sculpt and paint, anything I can do.

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author avatar Songbird B
2nd May 2013 (#)

That was a fascinating insight to an art form I have never heard of before Helen.. Thank you for sharing this informative and interesting article my friend \0/x

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author avatar Helen Stuart
25th May 2013 (#)

Thank you Songbird, I guess by these standards a lot of classic artists like Van Gogh could be considered outsider artists, although he did not have a diagnosis of mental illness due to the time period he lived in. There are questions about whether or not Venerial disease caused his symptoms and I recently read that some people don't even believe he committed suicide but was accidentally shot by some boys in a field. As genius and madness go hand and hand, I don't know if I like the term "outsider art" or not.

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