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June 15, 2008

Monday’s discussion brought up the topic of outsider art in relation to John’s practice as an artist.


I was revisiting the artists which had influenced me as a student while doing my BA degree in the 80’s.


One artist whose work I saw in a small back room in a gallery in Cork Street was Niki de Saint Phalle. 


I remember walking in a small room full of a Nana. At the time saint Phalle was not a name you mentioned at college if you wanted to be taken seriously. De kooning, Boyce, Palladino were.  So it was I experienced a quite joy when researching online for refrences for contextualization to find Saint  Phalle shown at the Tate Liverpool. 


Also to find this online reference to her work and intital status as an outsider artist which touches on the diacotamy of status of the outsider artist once they become known to the art world.


‘The path to becoming an artist was not an easy one for Catherine Marie-Agn’s Fal de Saint Phalle. She had many personal obstacles to overcome, but she was able to do this and make a personal statement with her artwork that is a lasting tribute. She has been called an Outsider Artist, because she didn’t receive formal training.

      The term Outsider Art may no longer be relevant because it implies an ‘insider art,’ that everyone agrees on, something that is less true now than at another time.Niki de Saint Phalle was self educated but she also learned from sophisticated artists she associated with. She met many of the Surrealists in Paris, such as Max Ernst, Rene Magritte, and Salvador Dali. She came to know the American painter, Hugh Weiss, who encouraged her personal style of painting. Her marriage to the talented Swiss artist, Jean Tinguely (pictured below right), was of great importance to her development. It would be difficult to see her as an Outsider Artist, and more accurately she would be described as a Symbolist and Surrealist, with Pop Art influence.’