What is Outsider Art?
Outsider art is art by self-taught or naïve art makers.
Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions.
The term ‘outsider art’ was coined in 1972 as the title of a book by art critic Roger Cardinal.
It is english equivalent for art brut, ("raw art" or "rough art"), a label created in the 1940s by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture.
The birth of outsider art.
Being dissatisfied with the art culture, and to shock the art world with art different from traditional forms that followed stricter rules, Jean Dubuffet, visited psychiatric clinics in search of work that expressed the raw identity of the artist.
What he found was sometimes dark and intense, but always authentic and completely different from all art he had thus far encountered.
Art brut is a type of art form that shows hardly any affiliation with existing artistic styles.
That has everything to do with the makers, who don’t (want to) have anything to do with culturally conditioned intellectual debate within the art world.
Key features of art brut
It has been observed that art brut artists, often employ techniques of pattern, & obsessive repetitive design features. There is an attempt to create simple and satisfying order when they themselves are typically touched by an awareness of chaos.
Outside Art today
The self taught artists of today may not be as culturally isolated as in Dubuffet’s day, but still prove they can be compulsive, inventive and self driven. At its essence outsider art is the expression through art of a highly personal visionary world.
Outsider artists are often creating without an audience in mind, and without any assumptions of style or aesthetic inclinations.
Through their art they mirror their rawest and most powerful emotions & often have no idea that their work could be seen by others - herein lies the most essential principle of the genre.
Different kinds of Outsider art
Following terms loosely overlap and can be considered forms of outsider art:
SELF TAUGHT ART
SELF TAUGHT ART
Over the years outsider art has been used increasingly loosely and can often now refer to any artist who is untrained some of whom may have disabilities or suffering social exclusion.