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The pardee collection

Some hand painted hairdressing signs from Ghana and small paintings of birds at The Pardee Collection’s pop up gallery show in Chelsea.

Outsider art can bring all sorts of things to mind (a guy painting alone in a field, a lonely kid drawing comics in her room) but in actuality, it just means that the artist has had no formal training. Once dismissed as “craft” or “primitive” and relegated to small shows in folk art museums, the category is finally getting it’s due and the artists who have been drawing, painting, making and building their hearts out are finally finding a bit of a market in this crazy place we call the art world.

I’ve always been a big fan of this type of work, thanks to my parents who are long time collectors, and have the very beginnings of my own collection starting to take up some space around here.

I get notices of shows from time to time and today, for some crazy reason, I decided to actually trek through the snow to Chelsea to check out a pop-up show of an Iowa City based gallery called the Pardee Collection. Run by Sherry Pardee (who is also a photographer) this collection of vernacular work by both American and African artists is a labor of love, the result of thousands of miles driven, doors knocked on and unknown places explored. Pardee has wonderful taste, and each one of her artists brings something different, but no less significant to the table.

I could go on and on, but suffice to say that if you are going to be in Chelsea this weekend, walk up to 29th street and check out this show. At the very least, go look at the gallery website and mark your calenders for the Outsider Art Fair, coming to NYC in May. The work is spirited and subtle and beautiful. And relatively affordable, which is really appealing to fellow artists like me, who may not have thousands to spend on art, but love to surround ourselves with inspirational work:

Emitte Hych

The brightly colored animal paintings of Emitte Hych.

"Uncle Pete" Drgac

The subtly colored graphic work of “Uncle Pete” Drgac. (Except the piece on the top right, which is by Jim Work)

Jim Work drawings

The breathtakingly meticulous architectural drawings of Jim Work.

Go check this show out if you are in the hood this weekend. You won’t be sorry. Details are below.

Pardee Collection popup gallery showing
527 W 29th Street (bet 10 & 11 Aves)
Second Floor

Saturday (1/25) 11-6
Sunday (1/26) 11-5

And if you want to learn more about Outsider art without leaving the confines of your living room, check out this great BBC documentary:

Turning The Art World Inside Out from Jack Cocker on Vimeo.

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