Tag Archives: outsider art
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 […]

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 […]

Tammys, Self-Taught Artist

Expressively Inspired: The Desire to Create for Two Self-Taught Artists

Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by the light of Arles, France. He, a self-taught artist himself, was also seduced by the effect of complementary colors and was drawn to using them in ways that had not been done before. His inspiration to create became an obsessive passion that haunted him and ultimately led to his […]


Vision Quest: The Drawings and Journeys of Domenico Zindato

Domenico Zindato insists he is not a folk artist. Indeed, the term seems out of place for the 47-year-old global traveler who has resided in Italy, Berlin, India, and Mexico. To pin him down to any folk tradition would be to misrepresent the diversity of his experiences. Yet what are we to make of his […]


Judith Scott Defies Categorization

From the moment I walked into the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum to see the work of Judith Scott, I felt I had entered a sacred space. A reverence hung in the air, as though I had entered an ancient tomb delicately arrayed with sarcophaguses. Or perhaps I had […]


“Coming Out of Somebody’s Hell”: Greg Bottoms and The Art of American Trash

In February of 1992, Greg Bottoms’ older brother, Michael, who suffered from schizophrenia, drizzled gasoline in the hallway of his family’s home in Tidewater, Virginia. His mother, his father, and his youngest brother were sleeping. Mr. Bottoms, age twenty-one at the time, had already moved out. When the floor was covered, Michael lit a match, […]


Sitting Down With Suzanne Isken of Craft And Folk Art Musuem

Three and a half years ago, when Suzanne Isken took over as the Executive Director of Los Angeles’ Craft and Folk Art Museum, she wasn’t trying to make history. In fact, she was trying not to. “I really don’t believe that [creating art history] is our mission. The Craft and Folk Art Museum is not […]


An Interview With Phil Demise Smith

When I arrive at Phil Demise Smith’s apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens, I am immediately greeted by a small, long-haired and very excited Chihuahua named Kandinsky. His moniker is an obvious homage to Vasily Kandinsky,1 the twentieth century Russian-born painter, musician, and art-theorist. Through his large figurative and expressive works, Kandinsky—the artist, not the dog—sought […]


Artist Perspective: Brian Petro

The following excerpt is from an interview with Brian Petro. Brian is a self-taught artist that lives and creates works in Washington D.C. To arrange a tour of his Washington D.C. studio, 1829 14th Street, NW, please contact Brian directly at (202) 270-7352 or email him at brianpetroartist@yahoo.com. I began creating art in the evenings […]


Speaking With Maria Schlomman

Maria Schlomann first started painting on shoes when she was a teenager. At the thought, she is 2% sheepish, the rest matter-of-fact. “I used to paint on jeans, too. I had fun with that.” Her shoe art is sensitive and detailed, but wearable material is not Maria’s primary medium. She tends to draw in black […]