The Wee Peeple Newsletter


Jan2018                   Issue 131










 The Treacherous Rogues of Europe


Parodies of Portraiture


In 1927 this rebellious Frenchman made Portraits from seashells and plaster:

Pascal Désir Maisonneuve


Shopkeeper, Shell Artist, Mosaicist, Outsider









At the age of 64, Pascal-Désir Maisonneuve, for reasons of his own,

suddenly started a series of fifteen Portraits made from tropical seashells

which poked fun at or ridiculed politicians and monarchs from various countries.






He entitled his Series of Shell Portrait Parodies:


 "Les Fourbes de l'Europe"


"The Treacherous Rogues of Europe"




with no formal training in Art

but "possessed of an expressive impulse"

Maisonneuve was an example of an who is blithely unconcerned with-

or even completely Unaware of-

the Affectations of traditional, classical, fashionable or trendy Art, past or present.



Using only shells

 Maisonneuve pretty much

nailed the Portrait of  Queen Victoria!




He also portrayed the Chinese; Emperor William II;

the Teuton (French term of abuse for the Germans)

and the Tartars (Turkish).

The Tartare







Queen Victoria (1927)








(at its most general) the work of Self-taught Artists...

(and at it's most specific) the work of... the Self-propelled Deranged...





In fact, “Outsider Art” derives it's classification more from the artists than the art.


While other genres, like Abstract Expressionism or Cubism,

denote a specific set of aesthetic guidelines or artistic traditions,

the label

reflects more the life story and mental or emotional aptitude of the Artists themselves.



 Faithful. Ingenious. Unfettered...




Angelo Meani




At their most Undefiled, those labeled as 

have little or NO contact with the mainstream Art World or Art Institutions...


(...but Orphanages, Prisons, and Mental Institutions, oh yes.)



Madge Gill

Madge Gill. London. 1884-1961.

Due to the embarrassment of her illegitimate birth she was hidden away until she was 9 years old,

when her mother (still alive) finally just committed her to an Orphanage

whereupon she was shipped to Canada as part of a child-labor scheme, and put to work until age 19.

Later, back in England, she became very ill during childbirth (a stillbirth) and was blinded in one eye. So, whoa- she had a glass eye!


Upon recovery, she began to experience delirious trance-states

and started drawing thousands of pale faces of nameless women, often in the dark.

She led Séances and claimed her hand was ‘possessed’ by Myrninerest, (My inner rest?), her spirit-guide,

whose signature appears on the drawings.





"Folk art - Outsider Art - Art Brut -

no matter what you call it,

 the work of self-taught artists

has fascinated doctors, curators, and other artists
for the past hundred years.

Inspired by a vision,

these artists are often driven by obsession to realize their ideas

using makeshift methods that might seem illogical

but end up leading to profound works of art."




Raw Art


Rough Art




Art Brut is visual creation at its purest - a spontaneous psychic flow from brain to surface.




In the 1920s, ,

a barber, preacher, and visionary Outsider

 just up and began

carving and painting wooden panels

 to illustrate his sermons,

believing that his creative ability was a divine calling.




“Mr. Pierce used his art as a vehicle to teach moral lessons,” explains Nannette Maciejunes, executive director of the Columbus Museum of Art.

He even prayed before he started carving

 so that he could reveal the story inside the wood.”




"...his prolific outpouring included nearly 25,000 pages

 in Wölfli's 45 books

 (with their 1,600 illustrations and 1,500 collages)

 plus an estimated 900 single-sheet drawings."



In a lot of

the space is completely filled with detail.

 this is sometimes called

horror vacui

 from the Latin

 "fear of empty space"






Jean Dubuffet

whose own inclinations towards artistic Deviance

led him to coin the term:



 Jean Dubuffet collected thousands of works,

works which bore no relation to developments in contemporary art

 and yet were the innovative and powerful expressions

of a wide range of individuals from a variety of backgrounds.


Parodies of Portraiture

by Jean Dubuffet




Dubuffet collected the art of “unknown geniuses”...

Untrained, unschooled and uninfluenced by the art world...


 He resonated with the art of children and the mentally ill, and did much to promote their work, collecting it and housing the huge collection in the

Art Brut or "Raw Art" Museum

 in Lausanne, Switzerland

"Raw Art" Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland


It is interesting to note that Jean Dubuffet bought nine of the fifteen

"Treacherous Rogues of Europe"

as soon as he saw them, for his

 Collection of Outsider Art

housed in the museum in Lausanne



Unassuming and Unsullied

oblivious to the pretensions

of trendy art galleries, the epochs of art history, or the desire for commercial success


 Art by the people, for themselves..







well.. THAT sure resonates!

haha... right!



As diverse as it is, Outsider Art has still somehow emerged as

a successful art marketing category

(ha. ..and this surprises... Anyone?)




yes, in fact...

there exist Outsider Art Fairs

 and regularly published journals dedicated to

the Outsider Genre


so, somehow the "Outsiders" are  now IN

How can the Outsiders also be the Insiders...? (well, it's mathematical...)

But not to worry...

Spokespersons for the Outsiders, knowing themselves now on some level to be... IN..

are taking issue with the very term "Outsider" -(saw that coming)

preferring to be known by the more florid and less marginal term:





LOL oh well, so.. Outsider Art..

with it's roots in Insanity...


is now considered to be... a Thing.



...a powerful global force unraveling the edges of what is touted as Art...

inclusive of all Artists who are compulsively Self-taught

but not necessarily Completely Insane! heehee hoho haha
 the Spirit of ebullient Self-propulsion through Uncharted Waters...


the Dollmaker's latest blithesome inanity...

Deviant Doll Construction

now upgraded to   ...a Thing.



 Bewilderingly Hardcore, phantasmagorically Deranged,

 injudiciously Proud, & mortifyingly Outspoken...


Goes by the name of TACO. Taco Hell.







Born for Deviance!


"You could improve anything- even a paper cup- with a rudimentary pair of Goggles!"

claims the Dollmaker.



yet...the White King was NOT Amused!





The Dollmaker's burned-out Storage Units - where Outsider Art now thrives...









The story of
Waldo the Wonder Rat




Back to Home Page

artwork by Jean Dubuffet


Follow Your Bliss

More (well written) on Outsider Art:

512-332-6680    cell phone

Smithville, TX  78957


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