The Art of Outsider Art
Halle Sainte-Pierre until March 10th
Last weekend we finally went to see the Art Brut Japonais II exhibition and it was well worth my anticipation. It is thought-provoking, fun and inspiring, so go see it before it’s gone!
What is Art Brut Japonais II?
Eight years after Art Brut Japonais, Art Brut Japonais II returns to Paris with around 50 Japanese artists, of which nearly all are unknown and operate outside of the traditional art industry. Art Brut, or outsider art, is art that isn’t viewed from the established gallery world.
It is art made by artists who may be intellectually disabled, or who might be living on the fringes of mainstream society
It’s art created by artists who aren’t working to become famous or financially successful and are probably not formally trained. It is art made by artists who may be intellectually disabled, or who might be living on the fringes of mainstream society, and who most likely do not have an Instagram account.
Not creepy, dark nor scary.
When I saw the metro poster advertising the expo I immediately wanted to check it out because Art Brut + Japanese = me thinking, ‘Yeah, that would be cool to see’. But my kids thought the poster looked kind of creepy and did not share my enthusiasm. Let’s be honest… getting the kids excited about going to see any art exhibition is never easy. There is usually moaning and groaning involved. So to get them to play along, it ultimately requires some sort of bribe.
It’s refreshing to see art that is created just for the sake of the artist’s own creative expression and that does not have the intention of sending out some sort of message
The Art Brut Japonais II expo is on at Halle Saint-Pierre which is located at the base of Montmartre. Right outside of Sacré Coeur is the guy who makes and sells hot candied peanuts! So, for the promise of a bag of hot candied nuts, off we went.
We were not disappointed with the exhibition. In fact, we were very impressed. And even though the metro advertisement looks ominous, the overall exhibition did not feel at all dark nor creepy.
Art for art’s sake
It’s refreshing to see art that is created just for the sake of the artist’s own creative expression and that does not have the intention of sending out some sort of message. It’s like when your kid paints something and says to you, ‘I did this.’ They’re not always waiting for praise, but you still naturally give them the unsolicited, ‘Well done!’. And so, this expo is really fun just to look at and think, ‘Wow, you did this, good job and thank you for letting me see it’. It’s as simple as that.
While you’re there…
- After you’re done, there is a bustling café at Halle Sainte-Pierre and the bookstore currently has a large range of Japanese books, in French, so have a browse before you leave.
- If you need fabric or craft supplies, visit the six floors of Marché Saint-Pierre – Dreyfus down the road.
- Walk up Montmartre to check out the view of Paris and visit Sacré Coeur.
- Have a really good coffee (as in Australian style, of course) or a bite to eat at The Hardware Society, right around the corner from Sacré Coeur.
- Go find the candy roasted peanuts from the nut guy – as you climb the stairs you will smell them before you see his little cart!