Outsider...Folk...

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Probably, I'd guess. He went to art school for a while, but was largely self taught, and wouldn't have followed any "rules" of art they were teaching anyway. He never exhibited (at least before he became famous -- he may have later in life). He wasn't a professional or academic artist. What's that leave? Amatuers and folk artists (the same thing?)
 

esart

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He would not be classified at Folk Art, and Outsider Art is a term that is actually controversial when it comes to defining it. He's self-taught I'd say. Really, he's in a class by himself.
 
I'm thinking 'Outsider' most likely. He wasn't institutionalized but and out sider artist doesn't have to be. He was disenfranchised I guess. Did not subscribe to the art standards, in his art or in his writing...
 
I was just re-reading a portion of Notes... and there's a great bit about how he goes to art class with Barbara Frye and everyone including the instructor loves what he did. Barbara goes into another room and starts tearing up the place (he probably wrote about this in another novel as well).

When I think of folk art, I think of crocheted pictures of colonial houses and scotty dogs. Sometimes nice to look at, but not making any real statement. Outsider would be closer, if he need be in a category. Certainly he always had something to say.
 
When I think of folk art, I think of crocheted pictures of colonial houses and scotty dogs. Sometimes nice to look at, but not making any real statement. Outsider would be closer, if he need be in a category. Certainly he always had something to say.
do we really need labels?
I agree on both counts. But how we may feel about labels and BUK still doesn't answer the bigger question. If someone walked into an auction house with an arm full of Bukowski pictures, they would need to classify his work in a catalog. I was wondering how that would be. I think they may call it 'Outsider Art'.

You know, he wasn't the greatest artist in the world. Although we love the guy and every way he expressed himself. His art looks to be done by a toddler and very possibly a mental patient. Not that there is anything wrong with his pictures. They are just way unconventional, and that's why we love them so much. But it has to fall into some category. And, work like his leans toward 'Outsider' IMHO.

Google outsider artist 'Bill Traylor'. He lived on the 'outside', on the fringe of society. Rejecting society as much as it rejected him. Lived in Montgomery Alabama and lived in the back of a funeral home and slept on a wooden pallet bed. He didn't start producing art "expressing himself" until a late age. Drew pictures on cardboard on the sidewalk for pennies. Sound familiar? Interesting read. Excellent!

There is also a segment of folk art called Prison Art or Jail Art. Cool stuff.

To jump to an entirely different medium: Art pottery; artist George Ohr "Mad Potter of Biloxi". Some of the most beautiful and unusual work you'll see in the pottery world. Another outsider scoffed at in his life time. Excellent! His pots sell for tens of thousands today!

These people were totally unconventional. Subscribed to nothing. Marched to their own drum. Rejected dogma and the norm. EXCELLENT!

I think BUK's paintings is an 'Outsider' form of 'Folk Art'.


Wow, the world needs people like this. A thousand people paint a picture on a canvas... one puts his picture on cardboard with a piece of coal. I want to know about the one guy with the coal.

A thousand poets put there words to meter and rhyme and one puts it to paper in a way hardly seen. With brute force, holding nothing back. I want to read the brute.

I'm done now... ;)


joe
 
i don't think we have categories like 'Outsider Art' or 'Folk Art' in german.
but if his painting-style needs to be categorized, i's say:

"close to the Fauves with a bigger direction into abstraction."

okay.
 

esart

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I hate to argue, but Hank was not an Outsider Artist as far as his paintings went. He was aware of what art was, went to art classes, and understood at least a little bit of Art History. I'd say he's still a Self-taught artist though.

Besides, these are terms that describe nothing about the artwork and more about the story behind the artist. Why pigeonhole him into the bane of the Outsider's reputation of an unaware of art and artists, uneducated, disabled, insane, shut-in, obsessive, or otherwise disenfranchised? Bukowski was a Visionary, not an Outsider Artist. He did not live outside the realm of society. In fact he was quite submerged in real life. You can read a bit more about what an Outsider Artist is here.

Also, Bansky and Fairey were never outsiders in art. Not even a little bit. I don't know much about Bansky's real identity, but both know exactly what they are doing in business and in art and always did.
 
Bukowski was a Visionary, not an Outsider Artist.here.

Also, Bansky and Fairey were never outsiders in art. Not even a little bit. I don't know much about Bansky's real identity, but both know exactly what they are doing in business and in art and always did.
IMHO BUK was absolutely 'Outside' the main stream. He wasn't a visionary, he was brutally honest in his writing. What was his vision? He called it like he saw it. No BS. His disdain for mainstream and society, endeared him to an empathetic audience.

I understand alot of people may misunderstand what I'm trying to say here, and in no way am I diminishing what Bukowski did. He is my favorite writer. He is a giant in the crowd.

Before Fairey was famous, and was lurking around at 3am bombing walls... I'd say that's pretty 'Outside'.


joe
 

esart

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Farey represents everything that disgusts me. He is, and always was, about inventing a brand name. And he succeeded. Good for him and Coca-cola.

I might be misunderstanding what medium of Bukowski you mean. As a writer, I think he's close to being an Outsider and a visionary. He was different, and created a new form of poetry. As a painter or an artist, Outsider means something specific and I respectfully disagree with you based on all that I know about Outsider Art, which is pretty vast.

This is nothing new, in recent years, pinning people into the category of Outsider, when there is a big difference between a person who was totally unaware of the art other than their own and someone who was in disagreement with the status quo.
 

hank solo

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My layman's view - Bukowski's art is abstract.
 
esart:

Farey represents everything that disgusts me. He is, and always was, about inventing a brand name. And he succeeded. Good for him and Coca-cola.
I must agree with you here. I mean I dig where he's coming from but hell what a business he's got going... just churning the 'art' out.

I might be misunderstanding what medium of Bukowski you mean. As a writer, I think he's close to being an Outsider and a visionary. He was different, and created a new form of poetry. As a painter or an artist, Outsider means something specific and I respectfully disagree with you based on all that I know about Outsider Art, which is pretty vast.
I was taking about both his writing and art. You think the art isn't outsider. I could understand your thoughts on this a little. The definition of outsider sometimes includes institutionalized persons; either asylums or prisons. Both of which he wasn't. But when you look at the 'living outside the mainstream and can be as simple as a matter of race or economics' part of the definition of 'outsider', he sort of fits in there don't you think.


This is nothing new, in recent years, pinning people into the category of Outsider, when there is a big difference between a person who was totally unaware of the art other than their own and someone who was in disagreement with the status quo.
This part I really didn't understand. A Person in disagreement with the status quo doesn't disqualify them from being 'Outside the mainstream', in fact I think it puts them there even more. Defining an artist isn't a bad think... at least I don't believe so.

You do make some interesting points. Can I ask you- what attracts you to outsider art? You say you have vast knowledge. Are you a collector? What book do you think is best on the subject of Outsider Art?


Roni:


i don't think we have categories like 'Outsider Art' or 'Folk Art' in german.
but if his painting-style needs to be categorized, i's say:

"close to the Fauves with a bigger direction into abstraction."
I see some similarities there cuz.



joe
 

esart

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A Person in disagreement with the status quo doesn't disqualify them from being 'Outside the mainstream', in fact I think it puts them there even more. Defining an artist isn't a bad think... at least I don't believe so.

You do make some interesting points. Can I ask you- what attracts you to outsider art? You say you have vast knowledge. Are you a collector? What book do you think is best on the subject of Outsider Art?
I don't know if defining an artist is a bad thing or not, I'm just saying that "Outsider Art," the term and it's meaning, is specific in the art world. Buk didn't live on the outside of society. He was educated and was well read. He looked at art and was aware of museums and artists. This doesn't put him in the category in its purest sense of the word. It is not MY definition. It's Roger Cardinal's, who wrote the book on it and coined the phrase as it's used in the Outsider Art field (Outsider Art, 1972), although there is a bit of history about how the term came to be before that.

I'm not saying I even agree with the definition necessarily. If you asked an Outsider Art scholar, he/she is going to say that Bukowski doesn't fit into the definition (or unless and until some scholar puts him in the category).

I am a collector. I'm a self-taught artist also. I am not an Outsider. I have a background a bit like Bukowski's. I didn't get the belt as much though.

I am attracted to some of the art I've purchased on a purely aesthetic basis. I love the freedom in the work, the naivety, like some children art. It's not tainted by all the things we come to know later in life. It is purely expressionistic and not a response to other art. I strive for the same freedom in my own work, although it will never be fully possible to attain, or reattain the ignorance I once had. There's a good point in the term "ignorance is bliss."

There is actually a story about an Outsider artist named Albert Louden who came into the field as a pure outsider. He was a bus driver in England. Once he got to understand the politics of how the business of art ran, he was straight out ex-communicated from the field by the "experts."

For the record, I don't agree with much of what the experts say, but I do respect the spirit of the term's original meaning. Albert Louden is still an Outsider as far as I'm concerned. But does any of this matter? His art is amazing and beautiful. This is why these terms are so useless (I think).
 

esart

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Here are some Outsider artists:


Adolf Wälfli


Henry Darger


Bill Traylor


Howard Finster


Albert Louden
 
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I'm not saying I even agree with the definition necessarily. If you asked an Outsider Art scholar, he/she is going to say that Bukowski doesn't fit into the definition (or unless and until some scholar puts him in the category).
Well, I guess Bukowski may have more dissimilarities than similarities with Outsider Art, and you may be right. I think the one thing he has that really fits the definition (for me at least) is economic disenfranchisement. But for me this is a biggie! Lack of money means lack everything.

Albert Louden is a good artist. Nice use of color.

I have a local artist around here that is really cool. I love talking with him when ever I get the chance. i wonder if you've ever heard of him: Harry Glaubach. he's regional; with a little following here in NYC.

really nice folk work from that guy. And he told me that he puts a picture of a mug of beer in almost every piece he does! I LOVE IT! :p

joe
 

mjp

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Well, I guess Bukowski may have more dissimilarities than similarities with Outsider Art, and you may be right. I think the one thing he has that really fits the definition (for me at least) is economic disenfranchisement. But for me this is a biggie! Lack of money means lack everything.
It isn't a question of whether you agree with it or how you define it, "outsider" has had a definition in the art world for 35 years, and Bukowski is a hundred million miles away from falling under that umbrella.

When you are talking about art or music, your own definitions don't really mean anything. You have to speak the language those cultures understand. If I say Britney Spears records are free jazz (which I do, by the way), that don't make it so.

Where Bukowski was an outsider was in his early days as a writer. But even then, only his creations were outsider, he still had knowledge of LITERATURE. Self-taught though it may have been. I think a better word for him is pioneer, if we want to apply a label.

You can see things in his "childlike" or "abstract" art that are tip-offs to the fact that he knew about art too. He didn't have the skill to execute it, but he had a foundation of knowledge.



Roni - all those pictures and still we see no large scan of your Bukowski painting! ;)
 
It isn't a question of whether you agree with it or how you define it, "outsider" has had a definition in the art world for 35 years, and Bukowski is a hundred million miles away from falling under that umbrella.

When you are talking about art or music, your own definitions don't really mean anything. You have to speak the language those cultures understand. If I say Britney Spears records are free jazz (which I do, by the way), that don't make it so.
mjp:

Let me quote Helanine Fendelman and Susan Kleckner "Collecting American Folk Art" pp: 12.

In contrast, the term Outsider Art is more about the artist than about the work. Whether for medical or Economic reasons, these artist exist and create outside the bounds of Mainstream culture. According their inspiration springs from alternative sources and is filtered differently from how these same stimuli might be received by someone living in a more abled or empowered circumstances.


This is what prompted me to think that Bukowski's art may be defined 'Outsider'. It's a very simple definition, and i think he can fall into it. And, like everything else it's open to interpretation.

was Bukowski in the mainstream? was bukowski empowered economically. If he were empowered economically from the onset, would he have developed as he did? would his writing be the same... would he have written dinosuaria, we?

interesting questions- to me at least.


btw rekrab:

I agree with your assesment.

Probably, I'd guess. He went to art school for a while, but was largely self taught, and wouldn't have followed any "rules" of art they were teaching anyway. He never exhibited (at least before he became famous -- he may have later in life). He wasn't a professional or academic artist. What's that leave? Amatuers and folk artists (the same thing?)
at least that is what my gut tells me when I look at BUKs paintings and think of his life.


joe
 

mjp

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The fact remains, Bukowski painted mainly to provide fodder for expensive versions of his books.

He did not have hundreds of paintings stacked in his closet when Martin first visited him, he had hundreds of poems. He did not consider himself an artist, and the vast majority of stand-alone paintings he did create were made for commercial purposes.

That does not include the decoration he did on many early letters, of course. Maybe he was a mail art pioneer too. :rolleyes:

Bukowski was a genius and an innovator and an outsider in front of the typewriter. That's more than enough for one man. Let's not try to make him Hank da Vinci.
 
He did not have hundreds of paintings stacked in his closet when Martin first visited him, he had hundreds of poems. He did not consider himself an artist, and the vast majority of stand-alone paintings he did create were made for commercial purposes.
That's a good point. If he created solely for the purpose to help sell his books then maybe not then. I still don't know. 50 years from now, 100 years from now... what will those paintings be called?


Yes he was an outsider poet... that's good enough for me.;)


joe
 
"Cartoons"

I'm a literary guy who loves music, so I don't claim any expertise in painting, art, etc. but I think Buk's "cartoons" were really great--I'm not so enamored with his painting. But those little men with the bottles, the dog, the sun, the bird--I love the stuff. It's so MINIMAL, yet says everything. There's pain and sorrow and gentle humor in those little men looking up in terror at those large women. And I think it's BETTER than James Thurber, whose drawings everybody compares Hank to. You can see his talent in how he can suggest so much with just a single line--for the eyes for example, that blank look his characters have. Or the hilarious comedy of that sequence about the woman who invites him over for chicken or whatever it was and he describes his typical day: drinking, going to bed with his girlfriend, vomiting.....:):):)That is a real meisterwerk!
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
As more and more people embrace his work his art the more he becomes on the inside.
mjp said pioneer, so he leads other to his style. He is blazing a trail to his way.

He said " Come on in."
 
But those little men with the bottles, the dog, the sun, the bird--I love the stuff.
Yep.

As more and more people embrace his work his art the more he becomes on the inside.
you know to some he will always be on the outside. I've posted to some poetry workshops online... think meter, sonnets 14 lines 10 syllables/ 5 feet per line, anapests, iambs, bull crap, etc. And those people HATE Bukowski, give him no credit. And look at free verse and the likes like it's trash. He will always be on the 'Outside' there. And, then there are those who love his writing, and totally regard his work as poetry. He will always be on the inside with them/us.

joe
 

mjp

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No, had you given it to me before I would have stolen it already for the art page! ;)

That is a good one you chose there. I know you suffered for it, but it was worth it.
 
take it baby!

still i think, i've given the link RIGHT after the auction. since i was proud as hell.


ps:
it WAS worth it.
 
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