That’s a pic by Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger whose photos of unspeakably cool teenagers in the late ’50s & ’60s have to be seen to be believed ( this pic is actually pretty tame, there’s a lot of homoerotic rock ‘n’ roll rebel boy action to be had and all of it is awesome). Weinberger’s photos are among the myriad of crazy, amazing art that is being shown at the annual Outsider Art Fair which is happening in NYC this week. I can confirm that it is full of all sorts of treasures.
The first time I attended this event was around 1990 and I was very much blown away by, well, everything. Both Peter Gabriel and David Byrne were there, walking around like regular humans and buying art right off the wall (uh, this very much excited me). It’s where I first became acquainted with perhaps the best- known outsider artist in history, Henry Darger, whose work unsettled and impressed me so much I wrote about it in my freakin’ diary which up until then had only featured angsty personal adventures and mishaps. But what I loved most about the show was that it was full of artists I could relate to, who just made stuff because they couldn’t help it and looked to please and sate no one other than their own weird selves. It made me feel so validated and alive regarding my own demented, oddball ballpoint pen art. And it still does. I’d always been jealous of painters, the attention and glory they got and at times wished I could express myself that way…but all I wanted to do was to draw bizarro shit on small pieces of paper with cheap BIC pens.
That was all brought home at the show yesterday while looking at a display of 2 inch(!) paintings(!) of landscapes by a guy named M Winston who is currently incarcerated in Wisconsin. Looking at them, you can’t help but think, what is so great about “big”? Their power is in their tininess. You had to get right up next to the wall to meet them. They weren’t sucking all the air out of the room demanding to be stared at. Anyway, Outsider Art Fair is cool and moving and I just wanted to share that with y’all and encourage you to check out Weinberger’s incredible photos if you are doing any online rabbithole-ing today.
Hey, it’s time for the WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new music that has crossed our path over recent days. There is some seriously lustrous and melodic magic happening in this week’s small but perfectly formed playlist. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below. Embrace the weirdness…
Listen on Soundcloud
Listen on Spotify