Top 10 – Outsider Artists

outsider artists top 10

What is Outsider Art?

Roger Cardinal the English art critic coined the term ‘Outsider Art’ in 1972 as the English alternative to ‘Art Brut’ (French: “raw art” or “rough art”).This was a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture. Dubuffet focused particularly on art by those on the outside of the established art scene, such as psychiatric hospital patients, prisoners and children. Over the years, self-taught, untrained or naïve art makers have become so popular that entire exhibitions and art fairs are now devoted to their work. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. In many cases, their work is discovered after their deaths. Often, Outsider Art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds as exemplified by former president George W. Bush and Aldolf Hitler, both accomplished Outsider Artists in their own right. These world leaders chose art as a relaxing form of leisure activity to pass the time of day, when not invading Poland or Iraq.

Image: Scottie Wilson c 1950 courtesy Ben Uri Gallery London