What is outsider art?

What is outsider art?

What is ‘Outsider Art’?

The term was coined by the publisher of the first American book on Art Brut (Outsider Art by Roger Cardinal 1972),

‘Art Brut’ was coined by the artist Jean Dubuffet to mean art that is ‘strictly untutored and exists out side the normal concept of art'(totally un-cultured and original in it’s preconception…including being prompted by concerns of money.) And therefore can not be a movement or school of painting.

The ironic part is the early modernist movements were trying to emulate (or just ‘assimilate’ the raw power of) this kind of art…(there was also a movement to make purely primitive art). While every one was trying to unlearn western art, there were these people that never learned, but to some degree wish that they could, possibly brought on by century’s of hierarchal control of what is right in art (with the school of thought that art is a ‘craft’ that must improve). Art is not about hand-eye coordination and technique, Art is about getting into a zone to create magic!

[Primitive cultures experience art as magic ritual, rather than ‘intellectual viewing’: Defining art so it can be understood by the left brain, never seeing the whole meaning at once]

I am influenced by any art that has the ‘magic’ (The ability to put you in touch with your primal child, buried under your intellect)…from the surreal look of the ‘Italian Renaissance’ to the ‘Anti-minimalist’ movement (‘horror vacua’ a clinical term for the fear of an unoccupied area in art that is lavishly over embellished…Fantastique and Visionary art , to subculture underground comix art). In this age of sadism and stupidity hypnotizing us into buying things we don’t realy want, just to relieve the stress of watching television, effectively eliminating the use of personal visualization
and person to person story telling. I think people ‘need’ paintings that seek to capture the primal stages of thought to help them stay sane! (But I also think people are insane to define their world with metaphysical belief systems.)
Ultimately I just want to make pictures that will grab your attention and not let go until you have a religious experience. Note the dynamic body language relating to moral forces of change.

I started with an Art Brut style but just couldn’t keep it up, I was compelled to teach my self to add depth and other realistic effects. Perhaps due to my self training as a musical instrument builder,
(I spent a lot of years learning to notice details, and improve my ‘craft’.)

I may learn to make things recognizable, but I still want to keep a certain amount of rawness in my pictures,
( I may loose my spontaneity by putting too much effort into realism).

I call my paintings Surreal because thay are in the realm of childhood visions and dreams, but a more descriptive term would be Naive Neurosis.

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older pictures | new paintings | Index

COPY WRITE JOHN LINDSEY YEAR 2001

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