26 Sep


“Get your ass to Mars.”

“What we have here is the revelation of a strange underworld inhabited by outsider artists who, rather than expressing in paint their conviction that God, Jesus and the Twelve Apostles live in their head, or drawing intricate utopias in Biro, instead ape the forms of the contemporary art market without ever evoking anyone or anything in particular. But they are nonetheless outsiders, and perhaps in some cases capital-O Outsiders. Outsiders with £600 going spare.”

Best posts of all time, numbers 10-7.

3 Responses to “THE BEST POSTS OF ALL TIME, 3”

  1. anonymousartist2012 08/11/2012 at 12:38 PM #

    New and improved ‘Outsiders’ with £828 going spare..if you select the lowest cost ideal stand..[vat = 20%]…

    • Alistair 09/11/2012 at 7:08 PM #

      I don’t think it’s too wide of the mark to call many of these artists outsiders. People with the cash to spend can and do buy their way into certain parts of the art world/industry, either in a manner of speaking (via wealth and privilege they’re born to, or years of expensive education at the “right” establishments) or literally, as in the case of the OAF. Gallerists in London and elsewhere frequently spend tons of somebody else’s money (daddy’s, an investor’s) on running their little galleries, and buy their way in that way. The dirty little secret of these so-called “commercial” galleries is that virtually none of them make any money whatsoever, and many of them are just money pits, kept alive by a particular individuals pride and vanity. They’re not viable businesses in any meaningful sense. They may as well do a KLF and set fire to their (daddy’s, investor’s) money for all the good it does for themselves or the artists they represent.

      But despite the upper echelons of the art world being mainly about money, it’s actually nigh on impossible to just buy your way into them as an artist because to be allowed access to those upper echelons and stay there an artist needs all kinds of critical imprimatur and exhibitions in certain, specific places, along with endorsements from certain, specific curators and/or publications.

      Not to mention the fact that if you’re a professional artist, people should pay you to show your work– not vice versa. If nobody wants to show your work unless you pay them, if you’ve never been commissioned, and/or you’ve never been in a show you didn’t pay for yourself, then rightly or wrongly you’re nonetheless firmly and definitively on the outside of the (really large, actually!) cohort of living contemporary artists which is generally considered even vaguely credible by any sector of the visual arts, whether public, commercial or whatever.

      • Alistair 09/11/2012 at 7:19 PM #

        But yes, you’re right about the sums of money involved. Damn, those are some well-heeled outsiders if they can merrily piss over 800 quid up the wall.

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