art by the insane


Have you been to/do you know about the American Visionary Art Museum?  It’s in Baltimore.  It features art by outsider artists.  In cavalier/casual conversation one might say “art by the insane.”  (edit: To be clear, I do not mean to suggest that everyone whose art is exhibited at AVAM was actually insane.)  I went there once, a while ago.  It came up in conversation the other day–I had forgotten.  They have Darger stuff in their permanent collection, I believe.  If you’re anywhere near there, go there.

some sort of god or tendril

And then think about whether it changes your appreciation of the art if you are told that the people who made it were in some cases mentally unbalanced.  (How different is that from MoMA or LACMA?)  Is it fucked-up/exploitative to be kind of especially interested in art created by the psychological disturbed?  Is that different from collecting the clown paintings of John Wayne Gacy?  Hey look, here’s a picture of Gacy with Rosalynn Carter.

image by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein

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June 7th, 2010 / 1:17 pm