The Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs presents INSIDER/OUTSIDER an exhibit showing the diversity of genres in the visual arts in Arkansas, from traditional, formal artists to the artists that “color outside of the lines”; row museum artist to the street artist. This “high art” and “low art” is subjective and the viewer can decide on their own on who is an insider or an outsider.
The exhibit dates are April1 – May 28 and will be the main exhibit during the Arts & The Park celebration in May.
Who’s in. Who’s way out there.
What does it mean to be an insider? You’re a pro. Designers and collectors love you. You hang in all the right places. The best homes and corporate buildings. You have a following. People want to be around you and invite you to their parties and show off their latest acquisition. You bring in the high dollars at fund raising auctions. Your work is pristine in every way, and you have high expectations. You know what good wine and good food is and you like it that way.
What does it mean to be an outsider? You’re no amateur but you didn’t go to school for this either. Or maybe you did and you scared most of your classmates. You don’t care what they think. You paint from your gut. You are fearless and create your own world. Your work is gritty and rough. You don’t care what medium you use. Sometimes you mix it up. Crayons and a burnt stick on a brown paper bag is fine with you. Your work is shocking and a wakeup call. If you bring anything, you bring ‘hooch’ to the party. They tell you ‘your work might sell better in Dallas or New York or Los Angeles’. You have no idea what ‘gallery ready’ means. But somebody, somewhere sees something in your work.
So why are we doing this? Why are we bringing these two together? High art and low art together? Who’s left. Who’s right. Who’s in. Who’s out. You decide. Anyway, you gotta see this show.
Wikipeidia says: The term outsider art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for art brut (French: [aʁ bʁyt], “raw art” or “rough art”), a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by those on the outside of the established art scene, such as psychiatric hospital patients and children.
While Dubuffet’s term is quite specific, the English term “outsider art” is often applied more broadly, to include certain self-taught or naïve art makers who were never institutionalized. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. In many cases, their work is discovered only after their deaths. Often, outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.
Outsider art has emerged as a successful art marketing category; an annual Outsider Art Fair has taken place in New York since 1993, and there are at least two regularly published journals dedicated to the subject. The term is sometimes misapplied as a catch-all marketing label for art created by people who are outside the mainstream “art world” or “art gallery system”, regardless of their circumstances or the content of their work.
An insider is a member of any group of people of limited number and generally restricted access. The term is used in the context of secret, privileged, hidden or otherwise esoteric information or knowledge: an insider is a “member of the gang” hence knows things outsiders don’t, including insider jargon.
In our complicated and information-rich world, the concept of insider knowledge is popular and pervasive, as a source of direct and useful guidance. In a given situation, an insider is contrasted with an outside expert: the expert can provide an in-depth theoretical analysis that should lead to a practical opinion, while an insider has firsthand, material knowledge. Insider information may be thought of as more accurate and valuable than expert opinion.