The Strangers

henry-darger-CollageGirlBlengin

‘To exhibit a diverse international range of singular artists under a category such as Art Brut or Outsider Art is to invite criticism. It would be easy, and perhaps facile, to claim the terms fetishize mental illness, make a virtue out of obscurity and a mascot out of, often unpleasant, personal circumstances. Such a ‘defence’ of the artists in question risks patronising them to the point of powerlessness. In truth, all artists are essentially outsider artists until they are brought inside, whether through commercial success, academic approval or critical acclaim. Raw Vision avoids any tiresome, paralysing arguments over voyeurism. Instead, as with the influential magazine it was born from, the curators of the exhibition rightly assume we’re all voyeurs and simply let the art and the artists speak. The results are frequently astonishing.’

– On Outsider Art, via a review of the Raw Vision exhibition at Halle Saint Pierre, Paris.

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