Blog Wild

We artists do a lot of insane things. I once stabbed a lighting tech at a gig, because he didn't bathe me in blue during my guitar solo.
But in fairness, insane people make a lot of art. In fact, I did my final university research paper on the art of the insane. The paper was very interesting, though I got an F on it, because it was for an advanced mathematics class.
Since then, I have continued to have an interest in 'outsider art', and it seems that the more I learn about the phenomenon, the less there is that I don't know about it.
The terms 'outsider art' and 'art of the insane' were coined in the 1970's, to replace the less politically correct term 'art of the nut job'. (Though I know a couple of folks who still study the art of the nut job).
The most well known piece of outsider art is Edvard Munch's 1893 painting, The Scream. Munch suffered from agoraphobia, and much of his work reflects the deep-seeded insecurities and anxieties that he battled throughout his life.
Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh cut his earlobe off on December 24th, 1888. Van Gogh originally suggested that the lobe came off while he was carving the Christmas turkey. Some months later, he came to terms with his mental illness and committed himself to an insane asylum. Van Gogh's stay in the asylum was a busy one; he painted a number of wonderful pieces that captured his degenerative state. He also declared war on Saturn.
Through the century or so to follow, outsider art has been studied and celebrated in galleries and textbooks alike. I have had the pleasure of meeting a number of the lesser-known outsider artists, whose work should one day touch the world: Anton Preggers is a New Yorker who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but happens to make the loveliest self-portraits. Donna Holster is a recording artist from Boston, who sadly suffers from MPD, or multiple personality disorder. (On a lighter note, Donna is releasing an album of duets in late spring). Reed Sussudio, a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder, was working on a wonderful new painting when I met him fifteen years ago. I recently checked in on Reed; he's doing great, and the painting is almost finished.
So the next time you encounter someone behaving a little 'outside', do not give him or her your sympathy. Give them a canvas, a paintbrush and a chance to express themselves. And maybe some sedatives.
I end this week's Blog with another interesting musical fact:

- The lower register note 'A' was invented in the 1970's by Arthur
Fonzarelli, and popularized some years later by Mallory's boyfriend, Nick -


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