Randomly Trippy

January 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm 2 comments

I know this is a literature blog, but since I technically was reading an online newspaper when I found this, couldn’t it count?

Apparently the creator of this piece is what is called an “outsider artist,” usually a person with severe psychological disturbances that lead to amazingly original art. Some of it is trippy, some of it is disturbing, and some of it is just plain weird — but all of these artists are supposed to be creating in these “bubbles” of expression and with an intense dedication to their respective visions. You know, like deer with huge eyes behind…tombstones?

This particular artist, Eugene Andolsek, was obsessed with the idea that he was going to be fired from his office job, but never was. Apparently making these “mandalas” with colored ink and graph paper (think those circles you used to make in seventh-grade math class when you were bored) helped to calm him down and relieve that fear. Since mandalas are used as a meditative device for Zen Buddhism and other Eastern religions, this seems to make some kind of sense, even though I have no idea if Andolsek made the connection himself. If you click on the picture, you should be able to see it in more detail. It’s really incredible.

Anyway, doesn’t literature do this? I mean, people like Kurt Vonnegut and Siegfried Sassoon were certainly disturbed, and Hemmingway drank for a reason. Some of the most original writers of their time were either experimenting with drugs or had some other kind of psychological issue.

J.D. Salinger certainly wasn’t the picture of mental health, especially after he became famous — and, as you’d expect, he got much more original after he basically retreated from the world. Early Salinger reads a lot like John Cheever, his closest predecessor, but who knows what he’s writing now? I’m willing to bet it’s either really great or incredibly awful, but that it’s definitely different from anything else out there right now. Maybe true originality can only exist in isolation — to an extent, I guess, unless you really can create art in a vacuum.

For more information on “outsider art,” click here or here.


Entry filed under: Musings and Essays.

New Year, New List If she were my sister, I’d kick her out too

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Raphael  |  February 1, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    this stuff looks like something my high school art teacher did. then again this same teacher missed a week of classes due to allegedly having ingested some bad mushrooms.

  • 2. KT  |  February 1, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Holy crap, people actually read this?

    Well, person. But still.


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