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Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Old in New: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Many Philadelphians may take for granted a sight that frequents the narrow, colonial streets of South Philly – passages of mosaic murals made from broken mirror and porcelain embedded in plaster on building facades. These distinctive pieces are the life’s work of local artist Isaiah Zagar, and manifest in their most concentrated form at Philadelphia’s […]

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Mark Mulligan Marathon edit

The Search for Mark Anthony Mulligan

Now that I look back, the one and only time I ever saw Mark Anthony Mulligan was in the 1980s on the corner of Eastern Parkway and Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. I was commuting home from the University of Louisville, waiting for my transfer bus. Mulligan had just stepped off another bus going in […]

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John Schacht

The Rarely-Seen Work of Obscure Artist John Schacht

Earlier this year, the Knockdown Center in Brooklyn organized a group exhibition that was partly comprised by the first posthumous show of works by a little-known American artist named John Schacht (b. 1938). Stacie Johnson, the curator of the exhibition, first learned about Schacht’s work in 2010 when she worked as an archivist for the […]

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continuum outsider art

The Many Terms in Our Continuum: ‘Outsider Art’

As Priscilla Frank and Kevin Sampson aptly point out, the term ‘Outsider Artist’ is offensive to some subgroups of artists within the art world that has manifested itself outside of the establishment. While we at Brut Force have tried to remain term agnostic, siding with the way the artist prefers to describe his or her […]

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Jessica Park, The Brooklyn Bridge #3, with Lights and Twin Light Pillars, 2003 cover edit

To the Edge and Back: Jessica Park and Outsider Art

The designation “outsider art” is often perceived as offensive to the artist and degrading to the art. Darold A. Treffert in his book Islands of Genius documents a number of autistic savants whose art and music skills are indeed extraordinary. Along with a prodigious memory and ability to mimic almost instantaneously what is seen or […]

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Ronald Lockett RL_L2015.2.3 edit

Catching a Fever Within: Ronald Lockett at AFAM

Earlier this summer, a large audience gathered in the American Folk Art Museum’s main hall to listen to an esteemed panel talk about the life and work of the late Bessemer, Alabama artist Ronald Lockett. A lighthearted gravitas filled the room. As the first ever solo exhibit of Lockett’s art—an admixture of found sculpture, folk, […]

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