An exhibition in collaboration with AKIM Jerusalem
Curator: Mordechai Yifrach
The term Outsider Art, or Art Brut (raw art), was coined by French artist Jean Dubuffet (1902 – 1985), one of the first to appreciate and recognize this genre. The Art Brut artist was not trained in an art academy, was unaware of rules or possibilities for compositional solutions, was sometimes limited in the study of art due to mental problems or some handicap. Moreover, the Art Brut artist did not relate to subjects preoccupying the art world and belonged to no stream, school or community with cultural inclinations and formulations.
The AKIM Jerusalem Art Workshop, established in the year 2000, is comprised of fourteen permanent members, with handicaps, instructed by three mentors. The current project being shown at the Jerusalem Biennale was an attempt to combine art works from the canon of Art History with individual Art Brut works created by members of the workshop.
The process began with guidance for each workshop member in selecting a canonical work of art to address, at his/her own discretion. The choices were made intuitively, not intellectually, from a great variety of art works presented, and the diverse selections included a self-portrait by Frida Kahlo, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh and many other depictions. This was followed by photo sessions where each workshop member was photographed in the style of the selected image. The photos were then printed on canvas for the second phase of the process, in which each artist worked on his/her personal portrait or painting, in his/her unique style.
The final results of these photo-paintings display an attempt to fuse canonical self-conscious art with the subconscious intuitive art of the workshop artists.