Friday, February 24, 2012

Gordon Skinner

My friend, Sonya, and her husband invited me for Thai food and then an artist's opening by Gordon Skinner. His show: "Stolen I.D.: Fragmented, Colonized, and Lost" featured several of his original pieces and he was in attendance to talk about his outsider art and making a career expressing himself beyond training, schools, and institutions. Sonya thought I would like his work, and I did.

If I had money like collector's of art do, I would have purchased this piece. Because it was made by a Connecticut artist, I would love to have it in my Connecticut home. This piece was called "Zulu" and his influence of Basquiat, Jackson Pollock and Picasso are obvious. Outsider artists are self-taught creators who live according to their rules and visions. I envy the fact that they live outside most of our systems and, because they are compelled to, they create their world according to them.

I suppose this is not different from a writer and how he or she depicts the life they live. One can study all the "great" writers and "great" minds, but as artists often remind me, it is not a lesson or school that influences them - it is the free spirit of their souls and the desire to make wonder for others that inspires. Ah, I wish this was the mission of every school. The dream would be to provide spaces for youth to envision their own possibilities without the limitations of the historical boundaries we contain them in.

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