Ben Hickling

Ben Hickling

In an age of virtually ubiquitous mental illness, with ecological and political collapse just around the corner, Outsider Art deserves a second look. What once appeared most peculiar about the genre—its despairing creators, its blunt interfaces with the political, its pyromaniacal relationship to official culture—now belongs more to the center of modern life than its margin. Originally meant to provide establishment with a static frontier, Outsider Art today seems proof that borders everywhere are on the move, that the periphery is pushing in on the heart of our shared intellectual and artistic life.

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