1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 68: Naive Art, by Nathalia Brodskaia

Naive Art, by Nathalia Brodskaia is an overview of the naive art phenominom, or as some call it ‘outsider art’.  It details the movements rise to popularity and shares narratives about a number of the artists, artists called Sunday painters by some, all of whom either failed to get into art schools or never even bothered trying to get into them, but nonetheless loved painting.  These artists are like the William Hung or the visual arts world, their skills set may not have as many tools as more refined or educated artists, and seldom do they share as much content, but instead the works, which are often times clumsy and problematic (vanishing points and other fundamental painting techniques are either unknown to these painters, or outright ignored), but the works remain beautiful and interesting.  The artists at times have nothing more to say that “I love paiting”, or “The beauty of this scene deserves to be immotalized in paint”, but sometime, though blunted, carry a message of destitution and poverty.  These people ignore or are outside of the canon of classical art, but insist that they can speak through it, even if their vocabulary be more crude than that of the peers they aspire to obtain.  Brodskaia gives a summation of this brief movement in the art world, Henri Rousseau is of course prominantly featured, as are; Niko Pirosmani, some of the colourful and exagerated works of Guido Vedovato, and perhaps my favorite image presented in the work is Dominique Peyronnet’s Summer Siesta.  There is a section in the book that offers the briefest of biogrpahies on some of the painters featured, and it is loaded with a number of great images, impressive in that the book was picked up at a bargain price (most art books cost no less than $40, and this one was less than $10).  For those interested in viewing some of the works of this genre, the book is a great pick up, but for anybody hoping for anything close to a comprehensive disection of the work, it would be best to look elsewhere.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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