Saturday, December 16, 2006

Outsider Artist

I took the pieces you threw away
And put them together by night and day
Washed by rain, dried by sun
A million pieces
All in one. –Howard Finster

I think I know what I want to be: an outsider artist. I worry that I might need to become insane to accomplish my goal, but maybe that’s what needs to be done. You have to sacrifice for art: it demands it of you. Alternately, I could simply avoid all contact with the mainstream art world, exploring unconventional ideas and creating extraordinary fantasy landscapes. I think that’s more doable, especially the avoiding the mainstream art world part, which isn’t my cup of tea anyway.

Some benefits of becoming an outsider artist:
• I would be seen as “more authentic”
• I could collect scraps and slivers and bits and pieces with impunity
• Social acclaim would not mar my creative process (until suddenly it did)
• I could make socially inappropriate remarks to dealers come from the big city to survey my work--and no one would think less of me for it. (See the movie Junebug)
• I would have direct contact with God and/or the devil. (This could also be considered a downside.)
• I might be asked to do an album cover for R.E.M.
• I could help demonstrate to the world that “cultural art” is the “game of a futile society, a fallacious parade” (Jean Dubuffet). Of course, I could not really know this myself, or else I would not be able to demonstrate it.

There are clearly many benefits to this new career. I don’t want to be too hasty, though. One cannot undertake such things lightly.

(Image: Howard Finster’s “Trash Can from Paradise Garden.” He’s right.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Open Letter to a Pegasus Baby