Outsider Art Fair 2013: Compelling Works Found in Pairs

NEW YORK—From a pair of half-century old portraits by Clementine Hunter that resemble African masks (shown above) to charming likenesses of Barbie and Ken by Toronto artist Holly Farrell painted this year, while wandering around the Outsider Art Fair a trend became apparent. Some of the more interesting works were displayed in twos. A few of the most compelling pairs are featured below.

The Outsider Art Fair was open from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3. 2013 in the Chelsea gallery district on West 22nd Street.

All photos © Arts Observer

During the run of the Outsider Art Fair, an opera about Hunter’s life premiered at the Kasser Theater at nearby Montclair State University in New Jersey. Read a New York Times review of “Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter” here.

“Barbie and Ken,” 2013 (acrylic and oil on masonite) by Holly Farrell at Garde Rail Gallery of Austin, Texas.

A pair of mini Michael Jacksons: From left, “Starlight Michael” and “Floral Michael,” both 2013 by Myasia Dowdell at LATC/LAND Gallery of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Located in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, the League Education and Treatment Center is a studio and gallery for artists with neurological “diversities.”

From left, “I Can’t Give What I Can’t Take” and “Not a Day Goes By” both by Joey Monsoon at Lindsay Gallery of Columbus, Ohio.

On the gallery’s website, Monsoon describes his work thus: “My figures and portraits hover somewhere between reality and myth. Their worldly weariness is revealed through a dream-like lens. They are not so much portraits of people as they are portraits of emotional triumphs and failures. We don’t always know their stories, yet in our gut we know how they feel.”

From left, “Grandpa” and “Grandma,” circa 1960 (both oil on board) by Clementine Hunter (1886-1998), a self-taught artist born on a plantation in Louisiana.

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