Thursday, January 19, 2017

Outsider Art Fair 2017 | Outside Art vs Insider Art, or Just Art?

The 25th edition of the Outsider Art Fair is taking place  at The Metropolitan Pavilion. From the organizers' statement "the singular fair dedicated to self-taught art created outside the mainstream.‘Outsider Art’ was originally conceived as an English synonym for ‘Art Brut’, a label coined by Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the confines of official culture."
The Outsider Art Fair was founded in 1993 in New York and it has been defined as the "hallmark event championing self-taught artists." But what is "outsider art" in contemporary art? And what is the meaning of "self-taught"? In the interdisciplinary melting pot of works often merging science, technology, philosophy in conceptual, minimalist and performance art, can we still refer to self-taught artists? In today's art landscape the distinction between art and life is becoming increasingly blurred into cross-disciplinary and multimedia works, often made of recycled or construction materials. 
My picks from the fair are the presentation of Jean-Daniel Allanche apartment from Galerie Hervé Perdriolle and works from the estate of the visionary Paul Laffoley (1935-2015) in the Kent Fine Arts booth.

The mandala inspired two-dimensional artwork presented by the Brooklyn based gallery Magic Markings was also intriguing and expanding to a discourse merging art and spirituality.

 A crossover of art, spirituality and cosmological interpretations can be seen in the cosmographical diagrams presented by the  American Primitive Gallery located in the Manhattan Upper East Side.

Although perhaps it not totally "outsider" the fair is definitely a must see, a reminder in these dark days that art is part of life and making art or even just enjoying can improve our living. 

The Metropolitan Pavilion 
125 West 18th Street
January 19-22 2015