1.18.18 / New York / New York

The Outsider Art Fair Brings The Art Fringe To NYC

Global perspectives have never been more important

Jordan maclachlan, Bull Market, subway series, 2010, Courtesy Marion Harris
[Jordan maclachlan, Bull Market, subway series, 2010, Courtesy Marion Harris]

January may not be the time people are expecting to go to art fairs, but it makes perfect sense for the Outsider Art Fair, which has always celebrated the unconventional. Opening this weekend for the 26th edition (and following the 5th Outsider Art Fair Paris), the fair once again brings global artwork in the vein of art brut, a term coined by Jean Dubuffet to describe artwork made without the baggage of art culture. In other words, much of the work comes from experimental and self-taught work, or art that simply isn’t tied to the fashions and trends that drive the industry.

The Outsider Art Fair is more popular than it has ever been, for good reason. Not only are people looking for varied perspectives (the fair boasts 63 galleries from 35 cities within 7 countries), but they’re also seeking a break in the monotony of what increasingly amounts to ‘Instagram art.’ At OAF there are artists on display from an array of locations such as Brazil, the Caribbean Islands, Korea, and Africa, where they are not only reflecting different types of lives, but don’t always share the same driving factors in marketing their work. For all the talk of ‘authenticity’ (or lack-thereof) in art by the people who are deeply engaged with the art world, the Outsider Art Fair serves as a welcome reprieve from fashion side of art, in favor of the fringe.

The Outsider Art Fair is open to the public January 19th and 20th (11am-8pm), and January 21st (11am-6pm) at the Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 W 18th Street

Frank Overton Colbert, The Trail to the Happy Hunting Ground, 1922, Courtesy of Steven S. Powers
[Frank Overton Colbert, The Trail to the Happy Hunting Ground, 1922, Courtesy of Steven S. Powers]

Helen Rae, Untitled, July3 2017, Courtesy of First Street Gallery
[Helen Rae, Untitled, July3 2017, Courtesy of First Street Gallery]

Hideaki Yoshikawa, Eye Eye Nose Mouth, 2014-17, fired clay, varied dimension, Courtesy of Yok
[Hideaki Yoshikawa, Eye Eye Nose Mouth, 2014-17, fired clay, varied dimension, Courtesy of Yok]

Howard Finster, Untitled, 1986, Oil on panel, Courtesy Mason Fine Art
[Howard Finster, Untitled, 1986, Oil on panel, Courtesy Mason Fine Art]

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