Galleries tend to intimidate me or make me feel uncomfortable. The approach and look of many galleries makes the art seem distant and (literally) untouchable.
Musea are much less intimidating, I find.
Art in the streets, in parks and in the outdoors is something else! The unpretentious environment works liberating; this art belongs to everybody. You do not have to dress up to admire it, no entrance fee needs to be paid, no guards or staff that watch your every move…
Outsider art fascinates me so much, because it is often made by ‘ordinary’ people (a mail man, a railroad worker….) without artistic pretensions. They use everyday items and materials to make outrageous, fantastic creations. They are not hindered by standards, rules or fellow artists; they are often loners who create their own fantasy worlds. Wow! Ordinary people that are in fact very, very extraordinary, in my opinion.
I admire graffiti artists for being able to work on enormous, unusual surfaces in often challenging circumstances. Sometimes their work gets painted over by another graffiti artist within 24 hours, yet they accept that as ‘all in the game’. I don’t know if I could be so ‘zen’ about that!
I don’t care too much for ‘just’ taggers nor for the ones who put ugly stuff on walls, but many others are real artists and their works brighten my day, whenever I walk past it.
For this list post I have to confess that I played with words, talking about ‘outside(-r) art’. The numbers 1 and 2 on this list are considered to be officially ‘outsider art’ or ‘art brut’. Numbers 3, 4 and 5 are ‘outside art’, as in outdoors, in the open, on the streets.
Here are five places that will make your day, if you are into outside(-r) art as much as I am:
1. Nek Chand Rock Garden, Chandigarh, India
Visiting this huge sculpture garden was one of the highlights in my life as an art-lover. I wrote several blogposts about this spectacular place and the fascinating story behind it. Just type in Nek Chand in the search bar on the right and the posts will pop up.
2. Haw Par Villa aka Tiger Balm Garden, Singapore
A shared first place in my list of highlights;-). This huge sculpture garden completely took me by surprise and swept me of my feet, when I first set foot there. It is so totally unique and weird. Here too the story behind it is super interesting!
Same here: type in Haw Par Villa and/or Tiger Balm Garden in the search bar and my posts will pop up.
|Photo taken by my friend Sylvia.|
3. Newtown’s murals, Newtown, Sydney, Australia
It’s only a short train ride from Sydney’s CBD to get to this neighborhood. I immediately fell in love with this area. Besides a cool vibe, with charming heritage architecture and lots of cafes and boutiques, there are murals and graffiti all around.
4. Seoul, South Korea
Although I read about Seoul having nice musea and all, I was really pleasantly surprised when I arrived in this city. There is art everywhere. Indoors, outdoors, high culture, low culture, art fences, sculptures, street art, musea and galleries….take your pick!
Highly recommended for a city trip (for a week or so).
For posts: type Seoul in the search bar on the right.
5. Penang’s murals, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Thanks to artist Ernest Zacharevic, Penang has become a popular tourist destination, especially for street art lovers. His giant, fantastic murals are the most famous, but there is a lot of street art there by other artists as well.
Besides that, Georgetown is lovely for a city trip, with all it’s cafes, shops and food.
Same recipe: type Penang in the search bar and my posts will show.
Do you like outside(-r) art? Which places are in your top three?