The Origin and Rise of Self-Taught or Outsider Art

Outsider Art
Boca Raton Museum of Art

 There are many who live their entire lives without even thinking about lifting a pencil or wetting a brush outside of a school art class. But there are others  who feel an innate compulsion to create art.


Their actions are not necessarily explicit or conscious. If you strode up to them and called them artists, or described their physical creations as artworks, some might arch an eyebrow, or laugh, or frown, or wave you off. Making art is simply something they feel they must do. Eat, sleep, make art, repeat.

They know little to nothing of the world of galleries. Museums are places that rich people and tour groups visit. They are unschooled in art, and may be unschooled entirely. Some might purchase their materials at an art store, but they’re just as likely to fashion them from whatever they have on hand, such as a paper bag, piece of cardboard or other “found objects.” They may create art to bring themselves closer to God, or because they couldn’t otherwise own any art, or because a deep-seated urge that is older than speech and deeper than the ocean tells them to. None of these creators takes the same artistic path, but scholars have applied a collective term to describe them: outsider artists. The fruits of their labors are known as outsider art.  More in link.