Sunday, December 7, 2008

Outsider art inside the Gallery (designed by owner)

I'm a private dealer in Outsider and Artbrut Art at Beverly Kaye Gallery and have over 400 images and supporting text on-line. The actual gallery is in rural Woodbridge, CT, six miles up the road from Yale, and is open by appointment. The gallery, an extension to my home, took two maddening years from my initial drawings to completion. Here's a peek at one of the walls supporting my interest in American Indian pottery, basketry and sculpture. The pieces I have chosen to represent are top examples from each of my artists, all of whom have been placed in private as well as museum collections. During the year I deal mainly with works on paper, canvas and board, but in June I hold the annual Sculpture in the Garden show which dresses the property in a dazzling display of recycled metal, stone, and wood, transformed into giant sunflowers, dancers, musicians, horses, robots, dragonflies, muffler men and garden whimsies.
The gallery has been awarded as a Forbes Magazine "Best of the Web", and "Incredible Art Site of the Week" for months running!
The black floors still look stunning after 6 years, probably because I kick off my shoes the minute I enter the door! If you click on the image the photo gets larger and easier to peruse.

Frank Bentley, English Outsider Artist

Years ago, I was introduced to the lovely and delicate works of Frank Bentley. Often his point of view was overhead, looking down on romantic little fishing villages and coves filled with small boats and even smaller people. "Fingals Island" was always a favorite. Other paintings of Bentley's were charming pieces equally welcomed in a nursery as a foyer, and "Three Goldfish in a Jam Jar" and "Green Cat with Green Fish" are two that come to mind. So whimsical and appealing. I wish they were mine, so I share them with you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Outsider collector goes trail

With my new Garmin Nuvi in hand, or I should say, on dash, I'm heading out to participate in an exciting Art Trail this weekend.
A few of my favorite artists are participating, and this is a great way to visit them, see their new work, and enjoy some of the most fascinating homes and studios in CT. My first stop will the magnificent home of Leslie Giuliani in Weston. Art is in the blood of this woman who works in too many disciplines to mention them all. She's a fabulous cook and baker, and her charcoal drawings, look under the New Artists button at Beverly Kaye Gallery and her encaustics and woven works boggle the mind. Here is a stool she created that I truly covet. Her mother has designed rugs with primitive art themes that have to be seen to be believed.
Dalton Ghetti, who actually fashions microscopic art out of the lead of a pencil, and Frances Palmer, one of my all time favorite potters will also be on the trail. You'll see handmade silver and gold jewelry, collage, paintings, knitted garments, etchings, woodcuts, and much more. These are top quality artisans and this is quite an event.
If you go, start at 3 Burr Farms Road in Westport and maps will be available for the rest of the trail. You can also go to and download a map. See you on the road!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Helga Hornung in her studio.........

Here is a wonderful picture of German artist Helga Hornung working in her atelier. You can see her technique of moving and manipulating the paint with her hand. Jesse Reno does the same thing in the background of his works. They both then use a black outline to add further layering to their paintings. Two gifted artists, same unusual technique. Helga's works have a universal appeal and her books (" The Little Lalu" series) are popular with normal, as well as challenged children. I love seeing works in progress and learn so much from these in studio photos.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Unbelievable Outsider Artist with Music on His Mind

It's really unbelievable what an artist can construct from wood, wire, concrete, and string. Dirk Dahl makes these fascinating figures from his imagination, and he also makes his rendition of famous jazz musicians that are pretty amazing. Two postings of the first, and a trio of the second will speak for themselves.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sandy Mastroni, Outsider at Red Dot.........

My pal, Sandy Mastroni is an Outsider artist who reinvents herself on a weekly basis. Her puzzle piece ladies will be featured at Miami's Red Dot show coming up soon! I saw a few of them in person today, at her lovely CT home which resembles a page out of Cottage Living. Every surface is decorated in Sandy's quirky, Alice in Wonderland style and when I'm there, I feel like I'm in a dream, embedded in the 1800's, populated with 4 curious cats. Anyway, back to the art. The women are painted on puzzle pieces, both large and small, and are reminiscent of Vargas faces, but with more style (and clothes). You can see other examples of her art work under the "New Artists" button   here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another Self-taught Art Beaded Piano

That last image was breathtaking, I know! I have gotten so many positive responses to New Orleans artist, John Lawson's beaded piano, that I'm posting another one, this time a Baby Grand. He calls it "Booker" and if you look carefully you will see the portrait of this Jazz musician on the top of the case. John's next show is at Honfleur Gallery in Washington, DC from November 15th to January 2nd, and will include re-traced drawings encased in encaustic wax, photography, and sculpture using the salvaged Mardi Gras beads. What a talent!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Beaded pianos, self-taught art at it's best

A friend, John Lawson, created the most extraordinary art objects colleged with Mardi Gras beads. He wandered the streets after the celebration was over and collected hundreds of pounds of these garishly bright beads. Then came hours of soaking and cleaning. Then sorting colors. And then the magic began! 
These are life sized pianos covered, in a jazz theme, with the collected beads. This one is an old New Orleans Honky Tonk piano and is totally playable, right down to the "Jelly Roll Morton" twang. The pianos have been shown in museums and are part of great private art collections. They are really beyond belief! This is the hight of recycling, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Outsider no more

With each step President-elect Barack Obama walks, up the stairs of both Congress and the White House, steps literally made by slaves, he will be lifting off the tarnish of both the American dream and America's reputation. His presence will announce loud and clear that there is freedom in this great place. Freedom and choice for his children, my children, and our children's children. This is a joyous day for people of all colors, faiths and parties. Congratulations to America, to the Obamas and to the Bidens. Prepare for a steep climb and go in peace.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Not Outsider Art, but fun fun fun

Obviously not Outsider art, but do you remember being given these comical little guys, called JoBos? If you squeezed them their ears, eyes and tongue would pop out, much to the delight of any little person in the room. I found the molds which they were made from on Martha's Vineyard this summer. We all need a laugh in these tense times, so this was mine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

American Indian Dolls

Do you love dolls, even though you're completely grown up? The doll on the left is a Jingle Wacipi doll created for me by my friend Suzan Ablaya of Germany. The doll is wearing the ceremonial dress of a Jingle Dancer. When the dancer moves the sound harkens to gentle rain falling, and the dancer brings honor to her family.
The middle doll was found at the Brimfield Antique Show and was created by the couple who made all the American Indian artifacts for the film "Dances With Wolves". Her dress is an exact replica of the dresses decorated with shells, which are still worn in ceremonies today.
The third dress, covered with a beautifully beaded upside down American Flag on the shoulders, is a replica of an antique dress which I fell in love with and had Suzan interpret in this doll. Her methods of doll making are exactly to the specifications of the antique dresses. She uses the same type of treated leather, shell, beads, and buffalo, human, and horse hair. Her stitching is superb and each doll is a masterpiece.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Art Brut? Outsider Art? or just Art

Pedro Martin DeClet created several Portraits de Genocide, depicting martyrs of ethnic backgrounds, including Hispanic and American Indian. The first piece in the series was created while DeClet was serving a term in prison. Its finish was floor wax, made possible by a supportive staff member. The rest of the series has been created as a free man. I chose this large version (about 5 ft. tall) to show you, as it's Pedro at his best. More of his work, is available at my gallery, and eventually will make it to the web site

Pedro also compulsively re-examines the self-portrait. The outer guise changes from devil to angel, warrior to clarion. His physical scars are always apparent; the psychological scars remain hidden below layers of paint and wax. The repeated retelling begs for a witness; the validation of a witness helps to ameliorate the pain. His prison years and his involvement with the Latin Kings are far behind him, only occasionally resurfacing as fodder for his art.

Pedro is exquisitely aware of the art world, and the poetry and prose of the most renowned authors and wordsmiths; however, his work is not at all derivative. It is purely his own vision, his own pain. He dares you not to turn away, and he demands that you see his powerful images barely contained within the context of the paper. His use of color is seductive, giving the eye a resting place before revisiting the image in its entirety. Although completely self-taught, his frequent use of both Latin and Spanish text within his work gives it a unique sophistication. His self-portraits reveal him as he is--sweet, moody, confrontational, scarred, and hopeful.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

AOL makes me cry!

A few days ago I received the first (AOL claims it was the second) e-mail from them stating that as of October 31st they were crashing all web sites built on their hometown pages. That means me.....all 400 hundred images, text and articles I've posted over the years relating to Art Brut and Outsider Art. I picked myself up off the floor and contacted someone who is trying to reconstruct them as we speak. Being a perfectionist, I'm freaking out. Should any of you visit the site in the next few weeks, please be assured that it will look more cohesive as time goes on.
Solely to make myself feel better I'm posting an ancient photo of my Mom and me on the beach in Hyannisport when I was small and the world felt safe! I'm the chubby one in my Mother's lap.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Outsider artist, up from the street

Many years ago, my son and I visited a street fair in Georgetown, DC. Although all the artists showing their work were either fine artists or craftspeople, I always keep my eye open for the untrained outsider artist who might make a space for themselves at the fringes of a show. We were in luck, as Matt Sesow and his then girl friend were arranging Matt's paintings against the facade of a building. To see Matt Sesow's paintings is to share in a bit of his reality. A landing airplane hit and severed his left arm at the age of eight, forcing him to become right handed. The physical and emotional pain of the trauma has left a clear mark on Matt's work. In 1994, at the age of 28, he began painting. His titles, such as "Painting by Remembers", "Lost Luggage", "Alone in Death", and "Sucker Punch", are more than subtle hints of the turmoil he has experienced. He views painting as a way to communicate his emotions and experiences in an immediate and powerful manner. He talks of "punching" the paint on his surface, and the turbulence it creates grabs at the viewer, never quite letting go. Blood red backgrounds, angry and averted orange eyes, heavily outlined figures not able to stay within the confines of the canvas, are hallmarks of his style. I represented him for the next 5 years before he decided to go out on his own. Many of his earlier works are in my collection and this painting called "Almsman" (30" x 40"), a particularly strong example of his work, has come on the market again. More of his paintings can be seen at

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outsider Art Panos

These Panos were created by Chicano prisoners on 15" square cotton handkerchiefs purchased in the comassary of the Texas institutions where they were serving their time. Many are tokens of love for Mothers, girlfriends, children, and/or gang members left on the outside.  The two examples here were meant for fellow gang members, and the gang iconography and prison symbols are evident.  Pieces made for children often have cartoon references and for Mothers, the Virgin Mary is a predominant theme. The panos represent the spirit of the prisoners and are hung on walls awaiting the return of their creators. When the men are released, the panos are taken down and in the past they often were discarded. Nowadays, they are collected by agents and dealers and are finding their way into folk art collections all over the world. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Alexandra Huber in DC

At the Folk Art Society of America conference in Washington, DC,  dealers will be bringing works of Folk and Outsider Art to augment the festivities. This year I will have over 40 examples of the "smalls" by Alexandra Huber. A new book of her art called "Guidance to Be"  by H. Dietrich has just been published and she currently has a one woman show in Berlin. If there is an interest, I will also try to bring a few of Anthony Guyther's "Symbolist Collages", many of which are illustrated in the book by the same name.  His work can be seen at
I hope to see many of you there. Bette-Carol Sellen has helped to plan a terrific tour of both private and public collections, including her own, and I cannot wait to see them. This will be a real treat.

Daniel Pearson.... Outsider artist

After being shut-in due to a traumatic spinal injury, Daniel Pearson began to find his voice in paint. He makes use of both house paint and acrylics and his figural pieces, done in  a brilliant color pallet,  caught my eye. He falls into the outsider category, and this self-taught painter has  the beginnings of a terrific portfolio. Here are my favorite three paintings. I'd love to know what you think!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Karl Mckoy, street artist extraordinaire

Every year I look forward to seeing my pal Karl Mckoy outside of the Outsider Art Fair. He's one of a number of self-taught street artists who display their works in the bitter January cold. His collage faces, utilizing shoelaces, metal, string, paint, and God knows what, are intriguing to say the least. Lucky collectors, when they return to homes or hotels, are rewarded with seeing the brilliant colors, and the wonderful prose of the titles written on the back. This first purchase of mine says, "If what their saying  is true and God is a woman, I've got some questions for her." Last night on the phone I discovered that Karl is also an avid gardener. I should not be surprised. This lovely man makes art wherever he goes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Helga Hornung from Germany

I recently received a CD filled with the loveliest images by German artist Helga Hornung. I've chosen two paintings to share with you. In September 1998 her first picture book for children was published on Rex-Verlag, Luzern: "The little Lalu". The texts are added with Bliss-Symbols, "which are easily understood by non-speaking children and those who are mentally disordered". This book has been translated now into several languages and is one of a series. Her tender portrayals of motherly love and her painterly technique make her a winner in my book.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Hubers, 50 cm x 65 cm

I can't resist posting three more of the lovely Alexandra Huber pieces which are in the gallery. She is famous for her smalls, but the larger pieces are stunning and never fall asleep on the wall. It was a thrill several years ago to meet Alexandra, who is from Germany, and her husband, at the Outsider Art Fair in NYC. This year the Fair will be moved from the Puck Building to the The Mart at 7 West 34th Street and the new dates are January 9th through the 11th. This is a must see show, featuring self-taught and outsider artists from around the world, and celebrating it's 17th year in New York. Huber's works are available year round here, as well as elegant catalogues of her European shows.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Collage that entrances........

Three collage artists who capture my fancy are Moira Fain, Elena Mary Siff and Laura Slapikoff. Each of these women, using texture and composite figures to tell their story, have a unique style and message. Some deal with redemption, some with personal history, and some with the complex world of being a woman. Their works range from very small to quite large, but each one packs a powerful punch, and are strong examples of each woman's work. All are shown in galleries from California to Martha's Vineyard and if you get a chance to see these works in person, be sure to go! I once read that true collage had to be made up of both figures and text.....hmmmm, rules and more rules! What do you think?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Art and Trauma

Early trauma produces a distinct vocabulary in artists who choose, or are driven, to revisit old wounds. We all have an inner voice that counsels us day and night. When trauma occurs, especially at an early age, that voice goes silent. No words exist that can adequately describe the horror of the event. In place of this inner voice there is now a living, palpable void, which can forever shape the tenor of a person's life. Dr. Leonard Shengold called this type of early trauma "Soul Murder" in his book by the same name.
If the survivor turns to art for expression, this void can show itself in various ways. Holes might be punched through a painting or a drawing. A negative space is sometimes incorporated into a piece of sculpture. In powerful self-portraits created by an artist who was traumatized as a child, dark circles in thick oil paint are explained as "stomach aches". These circles unconsciously represent the void created by the silence of the inner voice. One can also find dramatic pauses in music or cadence changes in poetry composed by trauma survivors.. (Credit to Drs. Dori Laub and Gilbert Rose)
When such a person turns to art, there is a chance that the emotions surrounding the trauma will be revisited, possibly for the first time since the trauma itself. These emotions might not be readily apparent to the artist, but their emergence in the art will allow for an opportunity for these feelings to be witnessed and acknowledged. Healing can begin on levels that might still be subliminal, but the process can begin. Art therapy does not necessarily require a classroom.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Exceptional Italian Artist........

Once in a while I get to see a new oil on canvas by Italian artist Guido Vedovato. His work is charming, lyrical and beautifully painted. A master with color, form and content, each piece stands out as fresh and original. His style is always recognizable, a true test for a fine artist, even a self-taught fine artist! Bravo!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jesse Reno......

An amazing canvas by Jesse Reno, entitled  "Feral Boy", illustrates the struggle between this almost blind self-taught artist, who wants to paint his own reality, and a greedy collector (depicted with the crown) who tries to dictate output and control the market. This is not an uncommon dilemma, and it takes a very strong artist to resist. Here Jesse portrays his internal strength and resolve with a beautifully crafted bull.  The colors are soft and painterly, but the emotion is strong.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Paul Pitt, self-taught painter......

Paul Pitt's work harkens back to a simpler time, filled with a strong sense of community and extended family. Even if we have never personally experienced his subject matter, it rings a responsive chord. His paintings are meticulously repainted up to six times before Paul is willing to pronounce each piece done. Within each large scene, there are many small stories unfolding, each with their own considerable charm and humor. And, as always, you will find his surprise signature........two small boys black, one white, taking turns wearing the ever present red scarf. The Hampton Museum acquired an example of his work in 2001, and recently his "Summer Wedding" was shown at the opening of the Baron and Ellin Gordon Galleries at Old Dominion University in Virginia. He work has been published in Raw Vision magazine, Folk Art Magazine, and Craft Digest, to name a few. I'm delighted to have several of his works available at

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sandy Mastroni.........

One day a package showed up at my door, filled with hand made cards, and copies of very appealing images referencing Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, and plenty of cats. It was the beginning of a great relationship with an artist who bravely left her furniture decorating past behind her, and was moving on to the art that was dancing in her head. When I visited Sandy Mastroni, her garage/studio was filled with the most fanciful, enigmatic, and delightful paintings. Her work is now included in permanent museum and private collections, and one of her images will be published in the new Raw Vision Outsider Art Sourcebook #2. More of her art can be seen at the Art Brut link to the right, under the New Artists button.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gilles Manero, for the record......

Gilles Manero is a French self-taught artist whose paintings on old vinyl classical music records depict an alternate reality. His style is flawless and his color choices are reminiscent of fine Renaissance paintings. He also makes collage and mixed media works. 
Everyday he haunted the local museum in his town, and was befriended by their curator. He showed her his artwork and she arranged for Gilles to have a one man show at the Musee de la Creation Franche a Begles France. He was picked up by Judy Saslow Gallery in Chicago, and was also represented at the recent Outsider Art Fair in NY. Click on the Beverly Kaye Gallery link to the right. His records can be seen under the "New Artists" button.
Gilles Manero is one of the most original and talented artists I've ever had the pleasure of knowing! 

Friday, March 21, 2008

German self-taught artist, Alexandra Huber

Evoking DuBuffet's childlike paintings, Huber's work has been a huge attraction at the Outsider Art Fair in NY, as well as at various Museum venues in Europe. We offer over 50 miniature mixed media works on paper (6" x 6"), as well as larger examples. The museum catalogues of her shows are also available on-line at

Moose in CT!

Cars came to a screeching halt as this full sized Moose came into view. Made entirely from recycled truck, bus, and car parts, he was one of the highlights of the Sculpture show last year. Six foot tall sunflowers created from John Deere tractor parts also graced the property.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sculpture in the Garden show......

This year the Sculpture in the Garden show will be Saturday and Sunday, June 7th and 8th, and will be held on  Lorraine Drive in Woodbridge, CT.  Children are always welcomed. The photo of the life sized horse sculpture, by Joe DeMarco which was sold  last year, gives you an idea of what amazing works show up for this special weekend. Be sure to put it on your schedule. It will be advertised internationally in the summer issue of Raw Vision Magazine. 

Welcome to my world.......

I'm a private dealer in Outsider and Artbrut Art ( and have over 300 images and supporting text on-line. The actual gallery is in Woodbridge, CT and is open by appointment.  The pieces I have chosen to represent are top examples from each of my artists, all of whom have been placed in private as well as museum collections. During the year I deal mainly with works on paper, canvas and board, but in June I hold the annual Sculpture in the Garden show which transforms the property into a dazzling display of recycled metal, stone, and wood,  transformed into giant sunflowers, dancers, musicians, horses, robots, dragonflies and garden whimsies.
The gallery has been awarded as a  Forbes Magazine  "Best of the Web", and "Incredible Art Site of the Week" for months running!