Exclusive Images: BlackBook’s Faves From the 2019 Outsider Art Fair

Above image: BFA / Fred Giampietro


While Basel, SCOPE and Frieze have have no shortage of great art, it does seem as though it’s been eclipsed by the parties, the schmoozing and the desire to Instagram one’s self in front of the latest Koons.

Not the case, however, at the Outside Art Fair. Safe to say pretty much everyone is there for one reason only: art, done by self-taught artists. And though more intimate, with over 65 exhibits representing 37 cities and 7 countries, it’s a decidedly international affair.

Founded in 1993, OAF is the only show decisively dedicated to the art brut tradition first cultivated by Jean Dubuffet. Some of the handiwork may seem…odd, but that’s really the point. One piece might appear to rival the Botticelli, another may look like a kindergartener went to town with some papier-mâché – but this is work infused with a rare honesty and authenticity.

This year’s edition showcases pieces from artists and galleries including James Castle at Fleisher/Ollman, William Edmondson at Ricco/Maresca, Bill Traylor at Just Folk, Jim Carrey at Maccarone, Rick Skogsberg at BigTown, and Mark Hogancamp at One Mile. As we traversed the aisles of obscure and cryptic works, there were several that we were specifically taken with. Scroll through the images below for BlackBook’s chosen favs.

The Outsider Art Fair runs through January 20th at The Metropolitan Pavilion (125 W 18th St).


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