Outside Inside

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“It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.” J.K. Rowling (from Skinnyartist)

What happens when the Insiders become stale and must seek new inspiration?  The only option is to look outside.  It has always been so and now more than ever.  Insiders jump from fad to fad, novelty to novelty, always searching for the next greatest thing in art.  There is no backbone or grounding to those who are constantly seeking the new and different.  There are no depths to plunder.  Lacking that core of inner strength for guidance, the inside must find other sources.  As the traditional centers of art no longer hold the power and the purse strings they once did, art is thriving on the outside.

In an article for The Atlantic, Sarah Boxer has written about the wave of artists who do not come from the Insider Art Schools or the Insider Art World.  Boxer states, “Art fairs, biographies, retrospectives and collections are springing up in the name of outsider art.”  Boxer goes on to talk about the difficulty this presents for the insiders and states “There is something about outsider art that still eludes the insiders.”  Insiders apparently just don’t get outsiders.

Outsiders, by the very fact that they are outsiders, choose to seek their own counsel.  Not being privy to what is going on “inside” gives outsiders the freedom to work without the constraints of trying to fit in with the current fashion.  Most outsiders likely don’t care what is or isn’t “in” at the moment.  Outsiders follow what is in their own heart, their own vision.  Outsiders are not concerned with the hearts and visions of the insiders or anybody else.  Outsiders are true to themselves.  While insiders don’t understand, they do their level best to bring the outsiders inside for the next latest fad.  For the outsiders, the dilemma is to remain outside while going inside.

10 responses to “Outside Inside”

  1. The problem for insiders is, I think, an emptiness inside they think they can fill with the next acquisition or trend or whatever, but possessions don’t fill your spirit. It’s why I’m quite happy to be an outsider, a lot of travel has helped let go of possessions like furniture (although I still lug around all my crystals and clothes when we move) but it helps define priorities, which only your own spirit can fulfill. At least, for me, anyway.

    1. I agree!! The emptiness can’t be filled with possessions.

  2. There are no rules in art…and outsiders know that.

    1. Maybe outsiders are the only ones who know that!

  3. “It has always been so and now more than ever. Insiders jump from fad to fad, novelty to novelty, always searching for the next greatest thing in art. There is no backbone or grounding to those who are constantly seeking the new and different. There are no depths to plunder.”

    Superbly said. Beautiful insight, not only for art, but for the whole of life. But then art is life. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much and you are right! Art is life!!

  4. I remember that majority of discoveries in science and technology were made by outsiders.

    1. Great point and very true!!

  5. Yep! Yep! Yep! Ms. Bowen when I go to the arts shows here in Florida I notice a commonality among all the artist I see! You nailed it! Now I have the words for what I have always noted. Exactly correct in you thoughtfulness and vision. Then there’s your work and obviously the fruit and gift to the generations. Such a mind is yours. I am just Awed Inspired….. Thank you for being alive and on this earth and it is such an honor to witness yours….. I Love You! claudy

    1. Thanks so much, Claudy!!

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