This past weekend, the 20th annual Outsider Art Fair brought art galleries from around the world to Midtown. Highlighting artists with no formal training, the booths celebrated artists who are outside of the cultural main stream. Inhabitat was on hand to enjoy the unique artworks, with many of our favorites made with sustainable and recycled materials! Red Truck Gallery’s Andres Basurto makes beautiful glass skull sculptures entirely from broken bottles. Using specific beer bottles, he assembles the evidence of a night of drinking into the symbol of macabre, a skull.
We caught some new work from Inhabitat favorite Jason D’Aquino. In addition to his famed matchbook miniatures, his signature black and white drawings were combined with vintage newspaper collages. Moira Fain’s modern collages fit somewhere in between D’Aquino and McClusky’s, using both vintage and contemporary paper as sources, in addition to fabrics, found notes, and old photographs.
Ellen Greene uses the feminine tradition of wearing white gloves with the masculine tattoo art. Combining purity, formality and rebellion, she decorates gloves with her own version of traditional flash art, creating a piece that brings high and low culture together.
A self proclaimed junk sculptor, Leo Sewell’s fascination in trash was inspired by the garbage he would see being hauled to the dump near his childhood home. His sculptures are composed of recognizable objects like cast-off metal, plastic and wood, which are fused together. Two animal sculptures, a favorite subject of his, were exhibited at the art fair.
Some historic collage was represented with C.T. McClusky’s circus-themed works, which combine original crayon drawing with clippings from popular magazines of the 1950s. Carlos DeMedeiros’ former life as a monk in Bolivia is evident in the Brazilian artist’s work. The mini confessionals are made from found materials which are assembled in colorful tableaus.
What could at first resemble a day at the shooting range, Racine Polycarpe’s sculptures are a carefully organized collection of tin cans. Punctured with holes of different sizes, they are arranged in a grid and encased in a rustic frame of found wood. Their perfect organization transforms the used cans into a work of art.
The Outsider Art Fair celebrates artists on the fringes of the art world, showing that artistic talent is not always something that can be taught with formal education.
All photos © Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat