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Artists "on the town"

The Nuart Festival underway in Stavanger, Norway offers "a new breed of art exhibition that is neither institutionalised nor commercial, giving the artists free reign to express themselves to the full." And to back that talk up, they offer the entire town of Stavanger, Norway as the artists' canvas. Those of us who can't get to Norway can check out the growing gallery of works being populated through October 12th.
posted by cross_impact on Sep 15, 2014 - 2 comments

Mary's Gone Wild

At her "Visionary Folk Art Garden & Doll Village" in Holden Beach, North Carolina, Mary Paulsen has built a "bottle house", multiple houses for more than 6,000 dolls, and a standalone gallery to showcase the relentlessly colorful paintings she makes on discarded window glass. No surface goes unembellished. [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses on Jul 7, 2014 - 7 comments

"Welcome to a show about things you can see..."

Produced by Kansas City PBS affiliate KCPT, Rare Visions & Roadside Revelations is a TV series spotlighting "outsider artists, grassroots art environments and offbeat attractions of all kinds." [more inside]
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner on Jul 5, 2014 - 6 comments

Surely This...

Controversial artist George W. Bush, whose paintings of dogs, cats, and portions of his own nude body were "hacked" and swept the Twitterverse by storm, has opened a new one-man show of paintings, consisting of portraits of world leaders, in a library in Texas. Though political content has not usually been a part of his work in previous years, his interest in the subject matter may stem from his brief stint in public service a few years back.
posted by Cookiebastard on Apr 4, 2014 - 129 comments

Surfing On Sine Waves

Richard D. James is someone whose work can probably be considered outsider art. By almost anyone's standards, his work is eccentric, quirky and idiosyncratic. Its flaws (such as tape hiss and clipping) are arguably as charming as its finer points (such as whole worlds of original sounds), and its deviations from the norm are what make it so endearing, otherworldly and engaging. James seems a good subject for a case study due to how little music theory he took for granted, and how much he built his own musical principles from scratch, which is a noble goal for anyone trying to carve their own niche in the musical ecosystem.
posted by mannequito on Mar 13, 2014 - 46 comments

God Is Love

Out in a forgotten, dusty corner of Southern California, just east of the Salton Sea, Leonard Knight let his love and devotion to the Lord inspire a Technicolor vision on the desert floor. His creation came to be known as Salvation Mountain. On Monday, Leonard Knight passed away at the age of 82. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Feb 11, 2014 - 21 comments

The Box of Crazy

"So a friend of mine found this box by the trash, it is full of wonderful, crazy illustrations. Clearly something happened to this guy that was very memorable."
posted by Joakim Ziegler on Nov 4, 2013 - 55 comments

Tinkertown, on the far side of the mountain from Albuquerque

It may take months for this odyssey of a place to completely sink in: quirky and utterly fascinating, Tinkertown Museum contains a world of miniature carved-wood characters. The museum's late founder, Ross Ward, spent more than 40 years carving and collecting the hundreds of figures that populate this cheerfully bizarre museum, including an animated miniature Western village, a Boot Hill cemetery, and a 1940s circus exhibit. Ragtime piano music, a 40-foot sailboat (that traveled around the world for a decade), and a life-size general store are other highlights. The walls surrounding this 22-room museum have been fashioned out of more than 50,000 glass bottles pressed into cement. This homage to folk art, found art, and eccentric kitsch tends to strike a chord with people of all ages. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 5, 2013 - 12 comments

Dreams of the Sonora Aero Club

Sometime in the mid-1960s, a junk dealer in Houston, Texas acquired 12 large notebooks that had been thrown out to the curb after a house fire. [more inside]
posted by davebush on Mar 17, 2013 - 23 comments

Luthorcorp- It's a name you can trust!

Wonder Woman's Half-Brother Has Defeated Both Batman and Spiderman [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull on Feb 1, 2013 - 23 comments

Harold Lash

Harold Lash is an abstract painter whose works are wild and startlingly vivid. There are repeated themes of flowers and cities and ships and are often obsessively patriotic. I particularly enjoy his painting of Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, where he lives and works, and the colors of Girls Night Out strikes me as well. [WARNING: HUGE IMAGES]
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 18, 2012 - 9 comments

High Weirdness By Mail

"I guess it started for me when, as a young sci-fi movie fan, I did a fanzine at age 12 to 15... that’s when I learned how relatively cheap and easy it was to self-publish, at least for a small circle of weirdos. Later, after comics went up to 50¢, I started collecting stuff equally weird but much cheaper than comic books: kook literature." - Rev. Ivan Stang

You may know of the Church of the SubGenius, that parody religion that worships the almighty "Bob" and was a fixture of MTV and Night Flights back in the day. But do you know of its SECRET ORIGINS? Co-founder Ivan Stang corresponded with hundreds of "mad prophets, crackpots, kooks & true visionaries," from sincere cults to winking charlatans to utter nutjobs to hate groups to independent artists and musicians, with some respected names thrown in, and synthesized them into a half-joking, half-serious celebration of the kook spirit. These days of course the forward-thinking crackpot looking for sheep goes directly to the internet. But while it lasted Stang and co-authors Mike Gunderloy, Waver Forest and Mark Johnston collaborated to document this vanished scene in the legendary book HIGH WEIRDNESS BY MAIL. (All links within may quickly lead someplace NSFW by the nature of the beast.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 27, 2012 - 133 comments

Dreamin' Wild

On an empty plot of the family farm, [the father] built a state-of-the-art $100,000 recording studio. And in that studio, the boys recorded the newly reissued "Dreamin' Wild"... [more inside]
posted by absqua on Aug 3, 2012 - 18 comments

"The only real depression is a depression of individual ingenuity" George Daynor's Palace of Depression

"As the story goes, [George] Daynor was a former gold prospector who’d lost his fortune in the Wall Street crash of 1929. Hitchhiking through Alaska, he was visited by an angel who told him to make his way to New Jersey without further delay. Divine providence had dictated that Daynor was to wait out the Great Depression there, building a castle with his bare hands. Daynor had only four dollars in his pocket when he arrived in Vineland, NJ.... For years he slept in an abandoned car on the mosquito-infested property, living off a steady diet of frogs, fish and squirrels while he built his elaborate eighteen-spired, pastel-hued Palace of Depression out of auto parts and mud. His primary objective? To encourage his downtrodden countrymen to hold onto their hope and stay resourceful, no matter what." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Jul 14, 2012 - 20 comments

A museum's descent into financial trouble.

The American Folk Art Museum in New York City is said to be considering dissolution and dispersal of its outstanding collection of folk and outsider art.
posted by xowie on Sep 19, 2011 - 25 comments

Broken Angel: architectural outsider art

"Broken Angel isn’t architecture - it’s outsider art." A profile of Arthur Wood, whose lack of formal training did not prevent him from adding six stories of wild additions to the two-story Brooklyn tenement building he bought for $2,000 in 1971. [more inside]
posted by whir on Sep 9, 2011 - 63 comments

Wenn ich siebzig bin

Over the past 13 years, Berlin resident Klaus Beyer has translated the Beatles' entire oeuvre into German, recording the translated songs in his home studio and releasing them on CDs with titles like Gummi Seele, Kloster strasse and Das Gelbe Underwasserboot, even recreating the cover artwork of the originals. [more inside]
posted by acb on Sep 1, 2011 - 24 comments

There is a large film industry in Rocaterrania.

Rocaterrania is a country located in part of what's often known as the North Country of New York State, bordering on Canada. At least, it's there in the mind of Renaldo Kuhler, its creator, who has been imagining -- and sometimes physically creating -- the nation's politics, fashion, and artifacts since he was a teenager on his family's ranch in Colorado just after World War II. The son of Otto Kuhler, who designed the Hiawatha passenger trains of the Milwaukee Road railway, Renaldo needed an escape from ranch life. He invented a nation of forward-looking Eastern European immigrants with a vibrant, distinctly un-American culture. He warns, though, "it is not a Utopia." He has drawn, painted, and been the nation's history. He created its language, Rocaterranski, and alphabet from Yiddish and Spanish and German. Rocaterrania is a large-scale work of fiction but sometimes the way Kuhler speaks, it sounds like he believes it's really there. Kuhler now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and is known about town for his Rocaterranian garb. [more inside]
posted by knile on Jan 7, 2011 - 12 comments

virtual wendy lets her hair down.wmv

wendyvainity makes 3D animations and puts them on YouTube. They are strangely captivating. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Oct 19, 2010 - 44 comments

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, baker, painter

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein was born in Wisconsin on July 31, 1910. He lived in a small house in Milwaukee with his wife Marie, and he worked in a bakery. Between 1954 and 1963 he used his fingers, combs, quills and bakery tools to create hundreds of explosively colorful semi-abstract landscapes that evoke primordial soup biology, Lovecraftian horror, scifi weirdness and hellish alien beauty ('Full-Screen View' and its zoomable interface increase the pleasure dramatically). The 12 galleries of paintings at his memorial site are all available for free hi-res download, you can hear him talking about drugs, brain chemistry and visions at the 'Listen' link, and there's currently an exhibit honoring the centennial of his birth at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
posted by mediareport on Aug 25, 2010 - 24 comments

Outside In

JJ Cromer is a self-taught painter, whose dense, liney work reminds me of Howard Finster and Basil Wolverton.
posted by klangklangston on Jun 18, 2010 - 12 comments

Vancouver's Basquiat?

"if you see ken around the downtown eastside, chinatown, or gastown, buy his art or i'll stab you in the neck!" Ken Foster wanders the streets of Vancouver, painting the neighborhoods and selling the paintings he's made on found objects.
posted by cross_impact on May 7, 2010 - 4 comments

Picasso of the Ghetto Passes

Purvis Young, the street artist who adorned neighborhoods in Miami with his vibrant, expressionistic depictions of urban life, has died at the age of 67.
posted by cross_impact on Apr 29, 2010 - 4 comments

An autistic Jasper Johns emerging?

Alex Masket is an autistic young man and prolific artist using Duct Tape, Stick-On Letters, and Legos, among many materials. His work has a suprising vibrance and rhythm. Inspiring, especially for fans of Duct Tape and Outsider Art. Listen to an interview with his parents here. (Hat Tip to the latest Utne Reader)
posted by cross_impact on Apr 16, 2010 - 8 comments

Rewarding Attentiveness: Street Level Urban Art

Ben Wilson's Chewing Gum paintings and Slinkachu's sculpture rewards the attentive pedestrian. The former paints tiny pictures on sidewalk gum. The latter sets up tiny urban tableaus with humor and sly social critique. Pays to watch where you walk. (hat tip -- Raw Vision)
posted by cross_impact on Apr 14, 2010 - 5 comments

I have 5 Girl Friends and I Look Like Michael Jackson on the Thriller Album

He lives somewhere in LA, looks like Michael Jackson and Barack Obama, loves rap, chess, nachos, movies and pizza, has some comic books to sell, and wants to meet white, Asian and Latina Ladies with big butts to give him money, be his sex slaves, or just help him with Things. Performance art project or genuine kook?
posted by acb on Jul 16, 2009 - 44 comments

Norbert Kox

The Apocalyptic Art of Norbert Kox
posted by le morte de bea arthur on Aug 14, 2008 - 3 comments

Four miles of yarn on a car

Timothy Klein gets art. I mean, he really gets it. And he likes cars. So when he decided to become an artist, he covered a 1967 Chrysler Imperial Crown luxury car with yarn. Correct, yarn. Then, Tim didn't just show his car off to the local cruzers at the Dairy Queen. No. Tim took it to Artscape at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore in 2002, where he met other famous automotive artists like Harrod Blank and Chris Hubbard. He took it to the Outsider Art Fair in New York in 2003. Wherever he takes the Yarn Car, he documents the trips on his site. He got featured in Reader's Digest and "made Diane Sawyer giggle". Tim will be in Houston on May 10 for the 2008 Art Car Parade. Don't miss the yarn phone in the car.
posted by beagle on Apr 10, 2008 - 17 comments

Recycling Bowling Balls

Beyond the Lanes is a website devoted to using old bowling balls for art. Paul Livert is an artist who likes to add metal to old bowling balls. Giant Rosaries made of bowling balls. Bowling balls can be used to demonstrate scientific principles, as in this huge Newton’s Cradle. Nowata, Oklahoma boasts a bowling ball fence. Bowling balls also make useful cannon balls, as well as durable dog toys. (YouTube)
posted by Tube on Apr 4, 2008 - 14 comments

Leoncie's Healthy Dynamite Music

I first stumbled across Leoncie in open-mouthed disbelief about two years ago. When her website disappeared I imagined that we'd lost her forever, but last month she returned with her own YouTube channel. While our unfiltered, unmoderated internet has pushed a lot of "outsider art" into the mainstream, Leoncie has remained firmly stuck in obscurity; maybe these gobsmackingly low-rent videos will change that? Until today, I'd only been able to imagine the full glory of songs like Radio Rapist, or the beguiling Man! Let's Have Fun, or indeed the frankly exhausting Invisible Girl. But Sex Crazy Cop and Killer In The Park, with their carnivalesque spin on the grim world of law enforcement, are probably my favourites. Astonishing.
posted by rhodri on Mar 10, 2008 - 25 comments

Papa Palmérino Sorgente, the Pope of Montréal

Papa Palmérino Sorgente, the Pope of Montréal [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Feb 28, 2008 - 8 comments

Found Art From Jail

Jail Finds is a flickr set of art found stuffed inside books by the account holder at the jail where they are a volunteer running the book cart.
posted by jonson on Oct 29, 2007 - 9 comments

Wain's World: How the Artist Went Insane When the Cat Got His Brain

Louis Wain became one of the most famous British illustrators of the late Victorian and Edwardian era after trying to cheer up his wife Emily by drawing portraits of their pet cat, Peter. In addition to publishing a popular children's book about kittens, he was a founder of the U.K's National Cat Club who was instrumental in promoting the Cat Fancy movement, which encouraged Britons of all classes to view cats as lovable pets instead of household pests. Unfortunately, after Wain's wife Emily died of breast cancer, Wain gradually went mad due to psychosis and late onset schizophrenia, ending up in London's notorious Bethlehem Hospital (the etymological origin for the word bedlam). While at Bedlam, Wain continued to draw, but his cat portraits transformed into pure geometric abstraction and psychedelic fractals, but some see harbingers of madness in cryptically titled works, such as Early Indian Irish and The Fire of the Mind Agitates the Atmosphere. For more insight on Wain, check out this 1896 interview and this short film dramatizing the progression of Wain's schizophrenia through his art.
posted by jonp72 on Aug 12, 2007 - 25 comments

A Russian outsider artist and his guns

Alexander Pavlovich Lobanov was a Russian deaf-mute confined to psychiatric institutions for over 50 years. He liked to draw pictures of himself with guns. Lots of guns.
posted by hydrophonic on Jun 12, 2007 - 12 comments

Flickr user gandibacardi takes pictures of himself wearing cardigans and photoshops heads of models over his own face

Flickr user gandibacardi really likes women's cardigans. So much that he takes pictures of himself wearing cardigans and puts heads of models over his own face. He then writes (presumably) fictional mini-stories in the captions. He also likes to talk about cardigans. Sometimes he posts links to his pictures asking people what they think of his pictures. Sometimes he gets answers, but most often not.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 22, 2007 - 45 comments

Joe Meek demos

One of pop music's trailblazers was tone-deaf. Even if you've never heard of Joe Meek (previously), you've probably heard his 1962 single "Telstar" many times. This online compilation offers an exciting glimpse into Meek's unconventional way of composing, as he recorded and rerecorded in an attempt to communicate the music in his mind to musicians. Hear "Telstar" in various levels of completion.
posted by roll truck roll on Jan 16, 2007 - 31 comments

Henry Darger's latest 15 Minutes

Outsider art is exposed for what it is: beguiling and incredibly enticing. Henry Darger continues to capture new fans and his frighteningly gorgeous mindscapes continue to sell for thousands of dollars. "I found myself hastening past great Dubuffets, and lingering in front of vast ugly works produced by people who, to be honest, didn’t know how to draw…" (first link NSFW)
posted by zenpop on Jun 19, 2006 - 43 comments

There's music in them there hills

The Great Stalacpipe Organ. This unique, one-of-a-kind instrument was invented in 1954 by Mr. Leland W. Sprinkle of Springfield, Virginia, a mathematician and electronic scientist at the Pentagon. He began his monumental 3 year project by searching the vast chambers of the caverns selecting stalactites to precisely match a musical scale. Electronic mallets were wired throughout the caverns and connected to a large four-manual console. When a key is depressed, a tone occurs as the rubber-tipped plunger strikes the stalactite tuned to concert pitch. (scroll down for mp3).
posted by Astro Zombie on Mar 22, 2006 - 24 comments

And a smile can hide all the pain

The Original Rhinestone Cowboy. "I was laying on my bedside just as lonesome as I could be. I was by myself and so lonesome the tears just come in my eyes. I was so lonesome I prayed and said: 'Lord, give me something to make me happy' Now, you won't believe this, but the Lord told me to make an outfit. I went downtown and bought me a suit and became Rhinestone, and I ain't had one moment of lonesomeness since."
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 10, 2006 - 3 comments

"remember me boys while I'm gone"

Take a back-road south of Palmyra, Tennessee, and you'll stumble across the remains of E. T. Wickham's concrete statues, worn by time and broken by vandals. Since being documented online by chroniclers of outsider art, they've found a new set of admirers. A 2001 photography exhibit showed off their former glory; family members now hope to preserve what's left. To learn something of their creator, read the personal tribute by Wickham's grandson.
posted by holgate on Dec 29, 2005 - 4 comments

Furry Art

Making fun [banner ad may be NSFW] of Furries sure is fun, isn't it? Pointing out over and over again some of the worst examples of what the the fandom has to offer seems to be an activity almost as old as the Internet. In the rush to point and laugh , though, it's easy to miss entirely some of the more beautiful and amusing examples of what the culture's emphasis on art and imagination has wrought upon the world. And even if you aren't impressed by the talent on display, someone is -- Further Confusion, one of the largest Furry conventions in the world, has had for two years running an art show bringing in over $60,000 each year, with portions of the convention's proceeds going to organizations such as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund , the Coyote Point Museum , and the Oakland Zoo.
posted by wolftrouble on Nov 26, 2004 - 74 comments

Wesley Willis Art

Singer Wesley Willis was an artist as well. I'm not generally a big fan of "outsider art," as this might be called, but as raw as these pictures may be, they have a quality to them I don't think I've seen before. Enjoy. Via Monkeyfilter
posted by deadcowdan on Apr 26, 2004 - 16 comments

Two Galleries of Future Primitive Art

Two galleries of future-primitive/outsider art. "...An innovative vision of art: simple, non-academic, emotional, on a human scale."
posted by moonbird on Jan 10, 2004 - 3 comments

Richard Wawro

Savant art: the amazing work of Richard Wawro.
posted by moonbird on Dec 19, 2003 - 4 comments

Southern Folk-Art, Outsider Art & Self-Taught Art

Southern Folk-Art, Outsider Art & Self-Taught Art • Ginger Young of Chapel Hill, NC who runs this eponymously named art studio, says: "Despite their lack of formal training, these artists have tapped into a powerful wellspring of creativity to render their worlds with passion, pathos, and immediacy." Truly beautiful, unfiltered, vibrant stuff. How could you go wrong with artists named Tubby Brown, Minnie Adkins, Mose Tolliver and Woodie Long? On another note: is this school of thought/art, which comes in and out of vogue every few years, as pure as it seems, or is there an air of exploitation and corniness that comes with fetishizing The Other?
posted by dhoyt on Oct 17, 2003 - 14 comments

Please don't be a double post!

Ladies & Gentlemen, George Vlosich, the world's greatest etch-a-sketch artist. I'm nervous that I've seen this on Mefi before, but search came up blank...
posted by jonson on Aug 28, 2003 - 15 comments

Interesting Ideas

Interesting Ideas. Roadside and outsider art: prison art, Chicago's lakefront, anonymous portraits, ruins, motels, etc.
Related Outsiderart.info.
posted by plep on Aug 10, 2003 - 10 comments

Morbid Art

serial killer art I was doing some research on the Rockefeller Laws when I came across this little pet project. Disturbing?
posted by cadence on Jun 3, 2003 - 8 comments

A Few Folk Art Sites

Florida Folk Art. 'Welcome to my online Outsider Art Gallery. I collect outsider art, also known as Folk Art or Visionary Art ... '
More folk art :- Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations, a Kansas City Public TV project about the art and oddities of roadside America; the Yard Dog Folk Art Gallery ('folk art of the South'), a nice site from Texas; the Garde Rail Gallery; Folky Art; Four Florida Folk Artists (via Interesting Ideas). Not quite folk art but an interesting idea nonetheless :- the Miniature Book Library, an ongoing mail art project (which invites participants).
posted by plep on Apr 7, 2003 - 6 comments

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