Posted by: outsiderart1 | August 1, 2011

London Review of Books- Essay about Outsider Art (July 2011)

David Maclagan recently pointed my eyes towards this essay by Terry Castle in the recent edition of the London Review of Books. (Volume 33, No. 15, dated 28th July 2011) Terry Castle is apparently the Walter. A. Haas professor in humanities at Stanford and the essay is “Terry Castle on Outsider Art.” He has recently been involved in ‘Creativity Explored’ so has some strong views on the subject. This essay is well worth the £3 I paid to download it to see some interesting views and points made. Below I have included a couple of snippets taken from the essay…

(When talking about the situation with Outsider Art now) “The situation is such that you now encounter artists who have begun to market themselves, brazenly enough, as Outsider Artists. But can you really be and Outsider Artist if you know what an ‘Outsider Artist’ is and that there is potentially money to be made from it? It annoys me no end to think of artists who may be simply capitalizing on the sudden chic of the Outsider phenomenon. And a lot of the work – precisely because of the calculation that may be involved – seems bogus to me.” PAGE 21

“What draws me in with Outsider Art, I’ve concluded recently, is the promise – the colourful, bobbing lure – of meaning itself … Yet precisely what draws me in – the meaning-bait – is precisely what shuts me out. After a certain amount of contemplation, my interest in any given Outsider work can often go dead. I find, to my chagrin, that I have simply given up trying to understand or respond to it.”

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