The Urban Outsider Painter Considered
I think I'm an 'Urban' Outsider artist, though I am not quite sure
this has a definition.
So much art I see today is pretentious and justified by deep psycho-babble.
The artists are often working to shock the sensibilities of the viewer and lighten their wallets - all under the cover of
being true to their (a)muse(ment).
But I am left feeling that, rather than calling some of this work
as fine art, I can derive more esoteric experience by visiting a Waffle House late on a friday evening to view the interactions
between the wait staff and the public who wander in to get some munchies.
Where is the talent? How far can personal connections or the words
carried on the lips of critics, investors and speculators carry such artists without artistic substance in their works?
Being declared nouveau 'edgy' isn't necessarily something to aspire
to. Solid skills, lasting works of beauty,....... these mean something.
Prior to pursuing a career in art, I didn't think much about art or
artists prior to finding that I might have some latent talent for creating it. I didn't act upon the potential until experiencing
a mid-life upheaval.
Now the world about me is filled with more artists than I ever thought
existed. One may not swing a deceased organism possessed of a tail without striking one or two of them.
I created art at the beginning of my interest in it as a measure of
belying the stress I felt in my everyday workday world of deadlines and billable hours. I read and taught myself new skills
and techniques as I worked through the major changes which life throws at many of us.
I have developed several distinctive stylistic interests which I pursue
in my work. As a measure of my connection with the art-buying public, I find to my surprise that more than 50% of my career
output (so far) has been purchased by the public which doesn't frequent galleries or read the trade journals.
And this is very self-satisfying because it means I am connecting
with customers for whom an art purchase is a matter of both esotericism and practical decorative needs.... i.e. they connect
with the work on a personal level and it fits in with their decor or perhaps covers the hole in the bathroom drywall for a
But I want to explore the potential of my work being more than just
Then again, I would like to achieve this without selling out. But
seeing as I have not made many in-roads with the 'art world'; I remain the Outsider... But not the Tennessee hills type. Not
a visionary artist.
I have been exposed to a wider world, been educated, and have worked
at any number of mental and manual pursuits. My friends and day job customers are often surprised to learn that I am an artist.
They are further surprised when they see my works either on the web or in person.
So here I am, working quietly - more or less... I paint as I have
taught myself to paint. I work at my art from many stylistic vantage points. I am not plugged into the larger art world except
through occasional opinions like this. Even so, this is not a two way interaction.
My interest in art has grown from one of just pleasing myself and
my wife to hoping to make my creative output my vocation some day. Hence the tag of Urban Outsider.