Best Outsider Art - 2010
Outsider art, for those of you who may not know, is art made by an untrained person for no other reason than to exercise creativity. In fact, that may even be too much explanation. Outsider art comes straight from the heart without concern for gallery shows, critics, or patrons. Much as a child would, some people are simply moved to take pen to paper, paintbrush to canvas, or, in the case of a recent anonymous artist who showed at the Unsung Gallery, a model sailboat to the wood shell of a vintage radio. We stumbled on the gallery, housed in the vintage and antique store Universal Furnishings and Offerings (UFO), and have since been blown away by the stream of raw, unpretentious art that owner Leonardo Ramirez has found. Often, his artists prefer to remain anonymous. Ramirez features work by individuals who live on the fringe of normal society — one artist is disabled and spends his hours making diorama light sculptures. Another is diagnosed with schizophrenia and lives at the Arizona State Hospital. If you think the stories are intriguing, just wait until you see the art.