- May 15, 2015
-- Artwork from Angola State Prison will be on view at Fresh Faces Rx in Portland’s Pearl District, June 4 from 5 – 8 pm. The diptych titled, “My Reality”, was created by a 33-year old inmate and won Best In Show in 2013. Elizabeth Gallagher, owner of Fresh Faces Rx, acquired the painting when she and her sister attended the Angola Prison Rodeo & Craft Show in Louisiana. As the inmate signed his work through an opening in the chainlink fence, she promised she would show his work in Portland, Oregon.
The concept of “Outsider Art” may be traced back to 1922 when Dr. Hans Prinzhorn published the work “Bildnerei des Geisteskranken”
(“The Artistry of the Insane”), bringing to light the paintings of the mentally ill. In 1948, artist Jean Dubuffet took to this concept of creating spontaneous works of art purely for enjoyment, without the intent of exhibiting or selling. He established the Compagnie de l’Art Brut. “Art Brut” evolved over time into “Outsider Art”, the term first coined in 1972 by Roger Cardinal. Henry Darger is perhaps one of the most well-known Oustider artists. He worked as a humble, church-going custodian in Chicago, Illinois. Upon his death in 1973, a 15,000-page novel and hundreds of paintings were discovered. Darger’s work has since been exhibited internationally.
Those interested in Outsider Art are encouraged to visit Fresh Faces Rx during the Pearl District’s First Thursday event in June to get an exclusive look at the winning piece from the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Fresh Faces Rx is located at 809 NW 11th Ave., Portland, Oregon 97209.