06 May 2011
why i look at "outsider art"
I'm a big believer that its important to look beyond your chosen art genre for inspiration.
Not because I think there's nothing worth looking at in my own area (fiber artists really are an imaginative lot) but because its like seeing with a new pair of eyes.
Painter, drawers, sculptors, photographers...they all have a unique mindset that instantly pulls me in new directions.
I'm particularly drawn to outsider art. If you're not sure what in the heck I'm talking about, here's a sampling from the outsider art flickr group:
1. 44478, 2. Alice : Swimming from the sharks . swimming in concrete (iphone), 3. Portrait, 4. man, 5. Mother, 6. Hand Carved Folk Art Panel, 7. nighty night, 8. Goddess of Energy, 9. Reduced Clarity, 10. old men on the stour, 11. Emptying Inside, 12. Mixed Media Assemblage, 13. Untitled, 14. the Internationale, 15. Rain Dancer, 16. Jim Harris: Untitled, 17. let's dance, 18. Reißverschlüss, 19. , 20. on my mind, 21. At the blackboard, 22. where's the pizza, 23. , 24. Jim Harris - Untitled 2010, 25. 5
As I continue to develop my assemblage portfolio (which is largely not shown anywhere right now but will be corrected shortly as my website update is becoming a priority for me), I keep pulling out the books I've collected on this art form.
Plainly put, outsider art is art that is created with abandon. The artist creates freely, doesn't care if its pretty or perfect or widely popular - it just is.
How could you not be inspired by that?
Its a really raw art form and much of it borders on being offensive. And I think that's part of what makes it exciting, its so far outside of the norm that I can't help look at it, wonder about the artist, think about what it means to me - think about what it could mean to others...
Its a completely recharging experience.
Maybe outsider art isn't your thing. And I can understand why it might not be but I encourage you to look at other areas of art. If you're a quilter, look at sculpting. If you draw, take a look at jewelry. Look at something completely opposite of what you do and see if you feel something wake up inside you - I bet you do. :)