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This year’s Unfair Art Amsterdam exhibits work by a so-called outsider: Bruin Barry, an artist who “has one more chromosome,” as its discoverer Jan Hock calls him.
It is one of the first times that many works by an outside artist can be seen in a “normal” art gallery in the Netherlands; An artist with an intellectual disability. Barry himself hates this word, just like the naming he finds too restrictive. Barry prefers to talk about a Super mental strength.
“Look, I like this guitar the most,” says Bruin Parry, 23, while touring the part of the art gallery where his work is on display. He points to a red wooden guitar that has “On a Journey Through Europe” written on it. “This is based on my favorite series by Bassey and Adrian.”
All of Barry’s artwork on Unfair is themed by Bassey and Adrian. From a large red-and-white portal he created with artist Lucas Hendrix to an array of jackets featuring robot Robin graphics. Everything is on sale at prices ranging from a few dozen for a porcelain plate made by Parry to 3000 euros for a wooden gate.
“Business goes too far for a lot of money”
Hans Looijen says overseas artists have been growing in popularity abroad for some time. He is director of Outsider Art, a museum at the Hermitage Amsterdam. The museum is intended for “artists who are outside the mainstream art world and who sometimes suffer from an intellectual or intellectual disability”, as defined by the museum itself.
“At Christie’s auction house in New York, they have separate specialists for outside artists,” Looijen explains. “There are annual auctions in which works sell for huge sums.” He made the comment that the best-selling works are by deceased artists, but according to him, this is an example of the fact that outside artists have been taken before for it.
And now the Dutch artist’s foreign art can be seen in a Dutch art gallery. Looijen: “As far as I know, this is the first time multiple works by an outside artist have been shown in a regular art gallery.”
According to the museum director, Barry belongs to the A-list, the best outside artists in the Netherlands. This year he was nominated for Volkskrant Prize for Visual ArtsA leading award for young artistic talents. So his work will also be on display at the Stedelijk Museum in Schiedam later this year.
Artist Hooke struggled for years to break the barrier between artists from the regular circles and outside artists. He collaborates with them on many of his works. He met Barry when he was his nanny. Barry now works four days a week at Hoek’s studio on his own business or helps out.
Hoek also sees the popularity of artists like Parry growing, but he also sees obstacles. “At the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, for example, there is now a lot of interest in diversity. Art should be shown by non-Western artists, more art by women and art by non-white people. But the chance that someone likes Bruin will be allowed to participate. In a group exhibition it is almost non-existent.”
This doesn’t seem to bother Barry much. He loves being in a museum, but he does less and less work. “If I have enough money, I want to make music with an American producer, like my idol Michael Jackson did.”
Hawk: “What I’ve agreed with my dad Bruin is that we take every idea he comes up with very seriously. For example, when he said he wanted an exhibition about Bassey and Adrien, I held my breath for a while. This is a serious art gallery. But then I’ll think with him. : How to do it in a way that is not a joke, “
Conversely, Hoek also learns from outside artists like Parry, he says. “He’s not busy with what fine art he is. It shows that art doesn’t have to be a salon.”
Museum director Looijen also believes a lot can be learned from artists like Parry and other outsiders. “Their work has been stripped of pretension and art tastemakers are looking for inspiration. That’s what this type of artist is part of.”
The exhibition Unfair Art can be seen until 17 July at Gashouder in Amsterdam. The exhibition at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam opened with Parry’s work in October. The Outsider Art Museum in Amsterdam is open daily.
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