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Tuesday, 2.8.05: Outsider Art

We went to the Eastman House Friday night and saw a photography show called "Create and Be Recognized: Photography on the Edge." It was about "outsider" photography. Outsider artists are generally people driven by their own obsessions and who are not part of the mainstream art world or part of a specific folk tradition -- misfits. Some outsider artists are certifiably crazy, doing their work between visits to the psych ward. Others are just odd ducks who love doing their projects without regard to whether they will sell in the local craft fair.

The outsider artists at the Eastman House show used photography to pursue their madness -- they painted on their photos, or they cut them out and pasted them into collages. Maybe they are like scrapbookers gone wild. I envy their lack of inhibition, even while I know they were also chased by demons.

This website is about as close as I come to outsider art. I just keep doing it regardless of anyone looking at it.

But I am too neat, too organized, aware of making pages visually "readable," concerned about political correctness. (Should I have used the phrase "certifiably crazy" above? I really was going to say "loony bin" but censored myself into saying "psych ward.")

Occasionally I cut loose in my creative endeavors, but then remind myself to be sensible. Where is this going? What is my purpose? What is my strategy? How much time am I wasting? Eat right (or at least intend to). Exercise. Get my 8 hours of sleep. Hold my temper.

Recipe for success or simply timid and boring?

Whatever... it is unlikely that I will be getting a personality transplant anytime soon. And who could wish for the creative freedom senility has to offer?

I promised myself that sometime this week I would pull away from ebay sales (where craziness is strictly prohibited), and do something edgy. It's Tuesday... the clock is ticking...




Create & Be Recognized at the George Eastman House, Rochester NY


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