What Is Outsider Art?

Outsider Art is art by people who are not professional artists. It is also known as art brut, folk art, and naive art.

Checkout this video:

What is Outsider Art?

Outsider Art is art by self-taught or naïve artmakers. This can include art by people who are not traditionally considered artists, such as mental patients, prisoners, children, etc. Outsider Art is often seen as raw and pure, since it is not contaminated by the influence of the mainstream art world.

The History of Outsider Art

Outsider art is art by self-taught or naïve artists who are not part of the artistic establishment. These artists have little or no contact with the world of art; they may be isolated geographically, or by circumstance, mental illness, or differing cultural traditions. The term “outsider art” was coined in 1972 by British art critic Roger Cardinal, and popularized by American artist and collector William Warmus in the 1980s.

Outsider artists may be autistic, developmentally disabled, illiterate, imprisoned, or psychotic. They may also be untrained artists working outside the mainstream art world in cultures where there is no tradition of trained artists. Their work is often raw and intuitive; it may be crudely executed, and its imagery often derives from personal experience or visionary states.

Outsider art has been collected by several major museums in the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Characteristics of Outsider Art

Outsider art is art by self-taught or naïve artists who are not part of the artistic establishment.Often, outsider artists have little or no formal training and create art from their unique perspective, inspired by their personal experiences and imagination.

Outsider art is characterized by its raw, primitive style and its often taboo subjects. Outsider artists often experiment with unusual materials and techniques, resulting in artwork that is sometimes crude but always expressive.

While outsider artists are not typically part of the mainstream art world, their work has been increasingly recognized and appreciated by the art establishment in recent years. Outsider art is now collected by major museums and respected galleries around the world.

The Outsider Art Movement

The Outsider Art Movement is a term used to describe art created by people who are not trained as artists, or who have not had formal training in the traditional arts. The term was first coined in 1972 by art critic Roger Cardinal, and is now used to describe a wide range of art styles and genres, including folk art, naïve art, and visionary art.

Outsider artists often draw on their own personal experiences and observations to create artwork that is highly individual and often unconventional. Their work is often characterized by vivid colors, bold patterns, and childlike simplicity. Many outsider artists have been diagnosed with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and their artwork often reflects their unique perspectives on the world.

Despite the name, outsider art is not necessarily created by people who are outside of the mainstream art world. Some well-known outsider artists, such as Henry Darger and James Edward Deeds, were relatively unknown during their lifetimes but have since gained international recognition.

The Benefits of Outsider Art

Outsider art is usually created by people who have little or no formal training in art. This type of art is often seen as raw and unpolished, but it can also be incredibly emotional and deeply personal. Because outsider artists are not bound by the same rules and expectations as traditional artists, they can often create truly unique and original pieces.

The Criticism of Outsider Art

Outsider art is a term usually applied to art created by self-taught or naively developed artists who are involuntary isolated from mainstream culture. Because they lack formal training, outsider artists’ works are often raw and unconventional. The term outsider art was coined in 1972 by British art critic Roger Cardinal, and the crossover appeal of such work was soon recognized by the mainstream art world.

Despite its growing popularity, outsider art continues to be the subject of much criticism. Some argue that the term is nothing more than a marketing tool used to sell low-quality artwork at high prices. Others point out that many so-called outsider artists actually have some level of formal training, which calls into question whether they can truly be considered ‘outsiders.’

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that outsider art is one of the most controversial movements in the world of contemporary art today.

The Future of Outsider Art

It is difficult to predict the future of outsider art. The trend in recent years has been for outsider artists to be “discovered” and brought into the mainstream art world, where their work is exhibited and appreciated by a wider audience. This process often results in the artists losing their “outsider” status, as they are no longer considered outside the mainstream art world.

It is possible that outsider art will continue to grow in popularity, as more and more people become interested in art that is outside the mainstream. It is also possible that outsider art will become more mainstream, as more artists are “discovered” and brought into the mainstream art world. Only time will tell what the future of outsider art will be.

How to Support Outsider Art

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to supporting outsider art. Some of the best ways to support outsider artists is to purchase their art, attend their exhibitions, or make a donation to an organization that supports outsider artists.

Organizations that support outsider artists include The Folk Art Society of America, Outsider Art Source, and the International Foundation for Arts and Artists. These organizations offer financial assistance and resources to outsider artists.

Purchasing art directly from the artist is one of the best ways to support them. When you purchase art from an artist, you are directly contributing to their livelihood. Outsider artists often sell their art through exhibitions or online galleries.

Attendance at exhibitions is another great way to support outsider artists. Exhibitions provide opportunities for artists to interact with the public and sell their work. Many times, a portion of the proceeds from artwork sold at an exhibition will go back to the artist.

galleries, Artist-run centers, or fairs dedicated To Outsourcing arts are other great ways To show your support for these Artists And Their Work. By attended These events or purchasing artwork From These galleries, you are Supporting The work of Outsider Artists And Ensuring That Their Art Can Be Seen And Appreciated By The Wider Public.

How to Collect Outsider Art

Outsider art is simply art created by someone who does not consider themselves an artist. This type of art can be created by anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender. Outsider artists may not have formal training in art, but they create artwork from their own unique perspective.

If you’re interested in collecting outsider art, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it’s important to remember that outsider artists often create artwork for themselves, so it may not be conventional or “pretty.” But that’s what makes this type of art so special – it’s a true expression of the artist’s inner thoughts and feelings.

Another thing to keep in mind when collecting outsider art is that it can be quite fragile. Because these artists often don’t use traditional materials or techniques, their artwork may not be as sturdy as something created by a trained artist. This means that it’s important to handle outsider art with care and display it in a way that will protect it from damage.

If you’re looking for a truly unique addition to your art collection, consider outsider art. This type of art offers a rare glimpse into the mind of the artist and can be surprisingly delicate and beautiful.


Outsider art is a term used to describe art that is created by people who are outside of the mainstream art world. This can include self-taught artists, people with mental disabilities, prisoners, and other marginalized groups. Outsider art is often seen as being raw and authentic, because it is not filtered through the elitist lens of the art world. This type of art can provide a unique perspective on the human experience, and it is often prized for its uniqueness and originality.

Scroll to Top