What is outsider art, or Art Brut, as it is known in Europe? Jean Dubuffet, a French psychiatrist, early in the last century, sought out and collected what he defined as artistic works in the “raw” state, uncooked by cultural and artistic influences, and often created by patients in mental hospitals and those on the fringes of society. At the very least, outsider artists work outside the fine art “system” of schools, galleries, and museums. They are often embarrassed to be called “artist.” They create for themselves and of themselves, with works that owe nothing to tradition or fashion, creations that have not been culturally indoctrinated or socially conditioned. They make up their own techniques and style with materials that best lead them to express their inner selves, creating only for themselves. It is as if they make their own private theater. Often, once discovered, their work explodes, either by dramatic changes in technique and/or prolific productivity.
Outsider Art is visual creation at its purest, and in Simon’s case, spontaneous psychic flow from brain to paper. Here, within, are examples of some of these “mind muses.”