Monday, August 27, 2012

out/in?

Outsider artist Michel Nedjar was mentioned in a comment of a recent post and I thought his work worthy of posting about here. Generally I will admit I am not normally one that gets too excited about Outsider Art. I am one to be fascinated by craft or compelled by concept. When I do get inspired by outsider art it is usually of the obsessive variety... valuing the need and desire to make, the attraction to humble materials and the creative act.

I would not say Michel's work really falls into any of these categories but his series of "Poupees" are quite fascinating as they visually skirt the line of fetish or voodoo doll and trendy "plushy" toy. His use of color is lovely and his crude stitches are an interesting contrast to this.

His widely celebrated career, at this point, gives him the privilege of gallerist's and curators presenting his work in a contemporary and compelling ways. The below installation reminds me of a miniature version of a recent exhibit in NYC of the work of Nick Cave


His figures can be haunting and evoke a great sense of empathy as opposed to fear. Though for me he does not quite fit the idea of outsider art, he simply is not an academic artist.


See more of his work and read about him here.

4 comments:

Jan said...

I agree, it does remind of of Nick Cave's work as I saw an exhibit of his here in Cincinnati. Please explain what Outsider Art is. I don't know.

hannalietaute said...

lovely post! I wish i could see the Nick Cave exhibit!There is quite a lot of outsider artists that use cloth- eg. jeanne tripier- who inspired annette messager etc.

Joetta M. said...

oh the nick cave exhibit was divine.
Love Annette so will have to look up the artist you mention.
thanks for sharing:)

Joetta M. said...

btw outsider art is via Wikipedia:

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 outsides of the established art scene such as insane-asylum inmates and children.[1][2]

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.