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Outsider Art




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The Term Outsider art was introduced in 1972 by the English art historian Roger Cardinal as an Anglo-Saxon equivalent for the term Art brut, which established by french painter Jean Dubuffet. Outsider art is neither an artstyle nor a school. It is therefore anything but a homogenous, self-contained unit.Its esential,character ist that it takes place outside the established art world, beyond art history and tradition and regardless of trends and fashions of the art.

The creators of this art are mainly people, who made unusual experience in their lives or those who are subject to extreme mental states: Psychiatry-experienced, mentally handicapped people, prison immates, border crossers, eccentrics, people on the margins of society, in the social offside, in voluntary or unintended isolation and self-taught people with artistic potential. They differ regarding their personal background and social origin far apart, use different materials and expressive means, have no stylistic common ground and usually don`t know from each other. Which connects them und distinguishes them is the authenticity, originalness and immediacy of their pictorial language. Unlike the professional artists, they work with some exceptions, without ever a real artistic training to have enjoyed away from the commercial art busines and free from any pressure to adapt and independently of changing modes of art. Most of them see their own work not as an artwork and think of themselves not an artist.They have no intention to be artist, they live art. Their art is an expression of hidden desires, inner contradictions and visions. It is not outward but inward oriented, a trip into inside.The major aspect of their work is that, it emerges in their innerworld and imagination. The purpose of the work is in it own creation.

The works of outsiders have a unique visual language, a unique independent aesthetic category and evidence of a high potential for expression asset an a rough, raw charisma: Directness of expression, forcefullness, immediacy and authenticity, which make their strength, their charme and fascination ever identified. Their genuine, raw pictorial language stresses the conventional viewpoint in particular, in such a way, that in the eyes of some viewers, it is not only astonishing and admirable, but also strangely and grotesque.

Despite acknowledgment, which is brought to the outsider art increasingly in the last three decades and apart from few exceptions, which held the introduction into the art enterprise, into the museums and attained even world fame, the art of outsiders is however not accordingly appreciated by the established artworld. It is to be wished that the creators of these amazing artworks are recognized as artists.

Turhan Demirel



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Last update March 2024