vernacular art

Put on a Happy Face

I’m easy. Okay, not easy like that—you people and your dirty minds. Vernacular signage makes me happy, and so do objects that have been accidentally anthropomorphized. Not long after seeing an upside-down mop in my driveway turn into a smiling woman with gray dreads, I stumbled upon Ner Beck’s small show up at the...

Art Brut: An Inside Look at "Outsider Art"

It was found in attics and closets. It was drawn on ledger pages at turn-of-the-century mental institutions, made at tables in day treatment centers, and put together after a day’s work at the factory from junk scavenged from dumpsters. It’s called Art Brut—a term coined by Jean Dubuffet—raw art, survivor art, visionary art, vernacular...