Robin Scher

15-Royal Robertson Untitled (The Ten Commandment Laws or Dustdard Sinfulness Farm) c1980 (1)

Known/ Unknown: Private Obsessions and Hidden Desire in Outsider Art

Could there be two better bedfellows than that of outsider art and sexual taboo? Both all too often sit at the periphery of society; be it through matter of circumstance, prevailing norms, or, what is simply considered “proper.” It is for these reasons, and many more, that the two worlds enjoy a remarkable overlap. “Known/Unknown: […]

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Pioneering Work in Cars, Buses, and Trains: The Art of Chase Ferguson

In 2011 Chase Ferguson traversed the streets of New York’s boroughs—paper and pen in hand—documenting what was fast becoming a quotidian artifact of the city’s infrastructure: the single-space parking meter. Many people would have passed by Ferguson and these meters at that time without giving a second thought. By contrast, on a Sunday in early […]

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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, […]


More than a Mortal Man: The Bowie that Inspired Art

“I’m closer to the Golden Dawn Immersed in Crowley’s uniform I’m not a prophet or a stone ageman Just a mortal with potential of a superman” – David Bowie, “Quicksand” The last image the world sees of David Bowie he’s clinging, black-button-eyed, to his sheets watching a sinister-looking version of himself creep back into a […]

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Paper Wings through Open Doors

Laurene Krasny Brown has worn many hats and has discovered a great deal. That’s not to say the sprightly artist, who greets me all pigtails and smiles at the door to her charming West Village abode, has accumulated knowledge in a linear sort of way. Instead, Brown’s later-in-life venture into the world of fine art […]


Recognizing a Century of Folk Art in New York

The first exhibition of American folk art took place at the Whitney Studio Club in February 1924. Under the banner “Early American Art,” the exhibit aimed to elevate the perception of folk art, marking its first true foray into the American—and more specifically, New York— public’s eye. The diverse range of work on exhibit included […]

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The Thin Line Between Nightmares and Reality

In Rithika Merchant’s “The Intruder” (Sleep Paralysis), the rooted appendages of a tree-like creature wrap themselves around a body. It’s a familiar enough nightmare scene, echoing the Morbid Anatomy Museum’s latest exhibition, “Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular.” Defined as “the transitional state between dreams and waking,” it is Hypnagogia that plagues […]

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Found Objects and A Thumbs Up to Mother Universe

The entranced crowd sits tightly packed around a keyboard in the main hall of the American Folk Art Museum. Behind the keyboard, a man in a trinket-laden black beret seamlessly moves from regaling the audience with stories to tinkling with the keys of his Korg. The natural rhythm of his speech, a dense, melodic spoken […]

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The Most Known Unknown: Basquiat the Unknown Notebooks

The reverberated twang of discordant keys and a slow, walking bass line sound, as an image of a black hand holding a spray can moves effortlessly across a wall, drawing lines that form letters, creating words: “PLUSH·SAFE” HE THINK. The looping projection—old footage of Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) spray painting to the soundtrack of […]