Category Archives: Outsider Art

beinArt Collective returns

beinArt Collective: Naoto Hattori, Mike Worrall, Peter Gric, Dan May, Dino Valls, Ernst Fuchs, Sandra Yagi, Scott Musgrove, Travis Louie, Greg Simkins, Lucy Hardie, Maura Holden, David M. Bowers, Alex Grey, Jon Beinart

Founded in 2003 by Jon Beinart as the “beinArt Australian Surreal Art Collective” and expanded internationally in 2006 as the “beinArt International Surreal Art Collective”, the beinArt Collective has long been a web destination, publisher and sponsor of group exhibitions for artists working in the areas of strange, surreal, fantastic, psychedelic, visionary and outsider art.

Aficionados of these genres have found the website, and its reserve of artist galleries, missing for a time now, while founder Jon Beinart endeavored to bring the site up to date, reduce the strain of upkeep on the multiple galleries and generally bring the site into line with the modern web, streamlined and functioning more as a lighthouse than a repository.

The good news is that the beinArt Collective site is now back from the shadows; and, given its nature, has of course, brought the shadows back with it.

The new website functions as a blog and a listing of the most prominent artists from the collective’s formerly over-extended list, now linking directly to their own blogs and websites instead of trying to maintain local files.

There is a cornucopia of the weird, wild, wooly and often wonderful to be found among the links and articles — but, as when turning over leaves in a strange forest, I must warn the uninitiated that you never know what you will find lurking on the forest floor. Much of the work here delves deliberately into the disconcerting edges of the strange, and some may find it not to their liking.

Others, however, will delight in the assortment of the imaginative, bizarre and often beautifully realized work that abounds.

[Note: the sites linked, and the beinArt site itself, contain an assortment of work that can be considered NSFW, for a variety of reasons. I will also issue a Timesink Warning.]

(Images above: Naoto Hattori, Mike Worrall, Peter Gric, Dan May, Dino Valls, Ernst Fuchs, Sandra Yagi, Scott Musgrove, Travis Louie, Greg Simkins, Lucy Hardie, Maura Holden, David M. Bowers, Alex Grey, Jon Beinart)


John O’Reilly

John O'Reilly
In urban scenes of walls, corridors, alleys and car parks — that most of use might pass by unnoticed — Irish artist John O’Reilly finds fascination with geometric shapes, muted color, weathered textures and patterns of light and shade.

O’Reilly’s website has example of his urban landscapes, as well as wall art and murals.

I particularly enjoy the textural patterns in his paintings of slate or shingle roofs.


The fleeting art of Andres Amador

Andres Amador
“Ars longa, vita brevis”, goes the phrase (Art is long, life is short), but then, some art is much more temporary than most.

The art of Andres Amador, though ostensibly made of “archival materials”, lasts only until the next high tide.

Amador takes his rake to the beaches of northern California and creates carefully controlled markings in the sand, then photographs the result.

You can read more about his process on his website. There is also a gallery of his work here.

[Via MetaFilter]


Japanese Manhole Covers

Here in the U.S, manhole covers are treated as simple utilitarian access to underground systems, and their design generally reflects that — just a utility hatch.

In Japan, however, a large number of municipalities use the same kind of utility opening covers to express their local identity, with decorative covers that portray local landmarks, plants, animals, festivals and other elements of cultural or civic import.

There is an extensive Flickr group devoted to them and a book on the appreciation of them called Drainspotting.

[Via Salon]


Jack Morefield

Jack Morefield
Boston based painter Jack Morefield paints large scale acrylic paintings, usually portraits and often of contemporary music, pop culture or even literary figures, in which the image is composed of swirling arrangements of colored strands.

These strands, or bands if you prefer, are at times more or less defined; Morefield works with their edges as part of the textural differences by which he composes the paintings.

In addition to his website, you can find a selection of his work on his deviantART gallery.

(Note: some images should be considered NSFW.)

[Via Escape Into Life]


Art Nouveau style mural in Montreal

Art Nouveau style mural in Montreal by A'Shop
Here in Philadelphia, which has, I believe, more anti-graffiti murals than any other city in North America, I’ve seen my share of large scale and nicely done murals on the sides of buildings.

However, in Montreal, members of A’Shop, an artists collective that draws from the graffiti and street art culture, has created a mural that is inspired by Art Nouveau designs (primarily Mucha’s background designs), an approach I have not seen before.

Ironically, the mural is done using graffiti techniques and tools – spray paint. There is an article on My Modern Met that goes into the process of painting the mural, and another on the A’Shop site.