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Wisdom Beyond Words: The Art of Sylvia Fragoso

As a kid from a suburb of San Francisco I never had a reason to take the train to Richmond. The farthest north I had ever ventured on public transit was downtown Berkeley for a field trip. Richmond was just a place my family drove by on the way to Point Reyes. The media derided […]


Fully Rooted: The Industrious and Beautiful Presence of Outsider Art in Chicago

Intuit: Chicago’s Outsider Art Gem Tucked in the West Town neighborhood, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, is one of Chicago’s most democratic and unique museums. They are also the nation’s only nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to Outsider Art. Their permanent collection is an anthology of work that encompasses the history of the […]

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A Man of Many Monsters

It was clear that I was not the first person to ask Jon Fukui for an interview. After being introduced, he agreed to our sit-down with the aplomb of an A-list celebrity being asked for a selfie. As I unpacked my recorder and notebook, Fukui eyed me in silence, his fingers clasped loosely in his […]

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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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A Million Pieces, All in One

Three miles outside the quiet town of Summerville, Georgia, artist Howard Finster’s legacy sits off a narrow dirt road. The neighborhood, and many of the neighbors themselves, have been there for years— long before Finster made his home there, and long after. Glamourous it is not, which perhaps makes Paradise Garden even more of a […]

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A Love Letter to Her Mother? Inside Susan Brown’s Artistic Experience

Every Thursday for the past thirteen years, Susan Brown has awakened to a 5 a.m. alarm. She scrambles out of bed, eats breakfast and dresses. Packing two bags with blank pieces of cardboard she has collected, together with her recently finished paintings, she makes her way on bicycle or foot to the Long Island Railroad […]

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A Life Spent Organizing: The Art Of Eric Sadowsky

When Eric Sadowsky sits at his drawing table, he can often be heard repeating the phrase “Eric Curran Sadowsky is doing a great job drawing, he is doing an excellent job working.” Remaining quietly concentrated on his art for extended periods, Sadowsky may interject with another one of his sayings, “When Sadowsky is done with […]

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Child-like Figures in an Adult World

I was scribbling in my notepad when a man sporting a red cap and a denim jacket burst through the doors. “All right, I’m ready,” he said to Celene Ryan, the Director of Artist Development for Arts Unbound, an organization that showcases the work of self-taught artists. Brad Friedman, the man with the red cap, […]

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What’s in a Name: In and Out

The Spectra of Outsider Art Simply by definition, the ancestral roots of Outsider Art can be traced back 17,000 years to the caves in Lascaux, France during the upper Paleolithic era. On those “gallery” walls inside the caves were many works of art made by anonymous artists who were “untrained and untouched by culture.” From […]

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A Journey To Live Among Art

JJ Cromer became an artist for practical purposes. He was 31 years old, he’d just gotten married, and his walls were bare. It was 1998 and Cromer had been married to Mary Varson for two weeks. He’d met her at the library on the campus of Clinch Valley College where they both worked in Wise, […]

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Fairing Well: Frieze New York Draws the Crowds

Ask any Gothamite what comes to mind when they hear Randall’s Island, and you’ll probably get the same response: Governors Ball. But the wildly popular music festival wasn’t what people were talking about last month, when Frieze Art Fair arrived in New York City. For four straight days (May 14-17), Randall’s Island became less about […]

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The Outsider on the Inside

Sometimes, it takes an outsider to get the inside scoop. Andrew Edlin, the director of the Outsider Art Fair and a gallery in Chelsea (moving to a location on the Bowery in the fall), began his career in the art world as much on the fringes as the artists he represents. “I didn’t come into […]