Sunday, September 1, 2013

Outsider Art Goes Global?

There was a great article in the recent Atlantic Monthly about how popular Outsider Art has become on the global art market. I know it well. Philadelphia is full of these guys and there is a gallery or two that specializes in the work. Why everyone gets snagged on the definition is odd, even hinky. You are not included as an outsider if you went to an art school! That is the main prerequisite, no formal training. And you are only let in if you have an invitation from an insider, either a collector or a gallery. It doesn't matter that there are plenty of practitioners of Outsider art who went to art school and know a Debuffet when they see one. I recognize the skateboard and spray can. The niggling part is that plenty of dead folks with mental problems are now accepted into an exclusive club due simply to fashion and collector's money.

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