I love art.
Taste in art is personal
Having said that, there is a lot of art out there that does not mean a lot to me. Logical, since there is so much art and since being touched by it or not is personal.
I’m talking about art that I find rather elitist and distant. Or art that is too rational, abstract and constructed for my taste. Or would-be art. Wanna-be art. Bla bla art. Hot air. Or art that is fine, but just not my taste.
What is outsider art?
Outsider art is also referred to as Art Brut and Raw Art.
There is quite some variation in definitions, styles and types. Art made by not-‘real’ artists, by outsiders, by self-taught persons. Art that is made with unorthodox materials and methods, like household items, garbage or toys. Art that is exposed outside the normal artistic milieus, so not in a gallery, a museum or an exhibition, but rather in a private garden, glued to the facade of a house or on a lantern post. Art that is considered low culture by some.
Why I love outsider art
I find it totally intriguing how seemingly ordinary people ( a mailman or a railroad worker) just like that, begin with a creative process. Often original, quirky, a bit crazy even; a solo project that they may work on for years.
It is so inspiring to see people who think outside the box. Who are creative. Who work with ordinary, cheap objects. Who create fantasy worlds with that. Dream worlds. Who beautify their world and environment.
My heart jumps when I look at their creations!
Which outsider art did I see
Haw Par Villa in Singapore and Nek Chand Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India, must be my two favorite outsider art places of all the ones that I visited. I wrote a number of posts on each of the two. Just type in their names in the search box in the right sidebar on this blog and all relevant posts will pop up.
An other one that I visited was The Watts Towers in Los Angeles. Unfortunately the site was closed when we came there, so we could only look through the fence. But it was impressive nevertheless.
I also loved ghost town and art ‘park’ Rhyolite; in the middle of the Nevada desert, the weirdest location imaginable.
When I was living in Montreal, Canada, I was lucky enough to visit Papa Palmerino’s shop/house/gallery and meet the man himself. It doesn’t get much more eccentric then that, I think.
Here is what a newspaper wrote about this ‘shop’:
“If religious collectibles are your thing, this place may be your little slice of heaven. The place is chock-full of Jesuses–statues big and small, crucifixes, key chains, mugs. Seems Papa is quite the Jesus fan, which makes sense, considering he believes himself to be his brother. Ask him to show you framed photos of himself mounted on a cross (I didn’t ask if these were for sale). Papa Palmerino sells a wide variety of other religious doo-dads including rosary beads, candles and rings he claims cure arthritis. Even if the ‘Second Coming’ isn’t quite the motif you’re going for in decorating your house, this place is worth visiting for the browsing and… uh… conversation.”
And here you can see him and hear him talk:
His shop burned down a year after I was there and Papa Palmerino died about 4 years after that at the respectable age of 87.
There is a lot of outsider art out there that I would love to see. The USA has quite a lot, but there are also known places in France, Italy and Thailand, to name a few.
Type in outsider art in the search box in the right side bar on the blog to find all my posts about that.