Greg Bottoms sets out to understand outsider art
The Colorful Apocalypse:
Journeys in Outsider Art
by Greg Bottoms
$20.00 List Price
The term outsider art works magic. It turns the stigma imposed by illiteracy, madness, crassness, and religious fervor into status and money. We venerate rather than dismiss it for its marginal qualities. But outsider art’s alchemical properties also raise questions: What makes a man in a tin-roofed hut sculpting devils an outsider and Joseph Cornell an insider? After all, some self-taught artists are as canny when it comes to promoting and selling their work as some Yale-trained painters.
In his wonderfully titled new book, The Colorful Apocalypse: Journeys in Outsider Art, Greg Bottoms, an English professor at the University of Vermont, does his best to capture the magic around the outsiderart phenomenon. His voyage down the visionary-art road—call it Highway 666— is less a comprehensive portrait of an
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