Jessica Park-Tara vonSchmidt

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Jessica Park:

Jessica Park What kind of artist: an “insider” or “outsider”?

Jessica Park as an Artist:

Jessica Park as an Artist Known for her intricate detail and attraction to buildings Ability to balance the composition in her paintings Use of color and light to highlight features of her subjects Use of star patterns and unusual astronomical phenomena in the skies Manipulate color schemes to enhance an ordinary scene into another world Attention to the “odd” features or flaws of a subject, and a focus on them Her painting ritual of drawing; straightening the lines; careful application of one color at a time; compartmentalization of elements, especially color An artist with autism, whose disability plays a role in the creation of her art Largely a self-taught artist The Potala Palace in Tibet, 1990

Slide 3:

The Flatiron Building #1, with the Double Suns, 1996 Shows a pinkish sky, the color becoming lighter below the cloud behind the building A signature Jessica Park color combination of pastel colors with bolder ones Selective in her subject, no other buildings appear in the scene The double suns seen through the center window are described by Park as a mirage caused by the cloud The attention to minor details; the top windows have the shades halfway down and the bottom middle window has the venetian blinds partway down as well-with a bit of pink sky still visible below the partially open shade Park included intricate sculptural details highlighted with color, such as the masks of Tragedy and Comedy, the American Eagle, and the great seal of the United States

What is Outsider Art?:

What is Outsider Art? A generic term to group artwork that has been considered at one time or another outside the mainstream of taste, beauty, and the art market An English synonym for art brut (i.e. raw art) Lacks official art training Art of people who are socially removed (due to location or disability) from the cultural mainstream A term created by historians, critics and collectors; everyone but the artists True “outsider artists” are who they are, unaffiliated and idiosyncratic Art of different cultures, such as Haitian art, is often exhibited with outsider art in spite of its extensive history

Jessica Park:

Jessica Park Why might Jessica Park Be An Outsider Artist? Park is an untrained artist who creates incredible artwork but remains largely self-taught Individuals with developmental disorders are generally placed as outsider artists, i.e. Park’s autism Park’s inability to explain her own work makes interoperating the artwork a challenge Her artwork is created outside the boundaries of mainstream culture; her paintings of buildings and landscapes are fantasy-hued representations that only she understands “As an extension of her language disability, her paintings are void of any conventional symbolic references” ( Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, “Exploring Nirvana”) Outsider art tends to have few references to other art and often little or no sense of artistic past or heritage; mostly true of Jessica Park’s artwork Glasgow City Chambers with Sun Pillar, 1996

Jessica Park:

Jessica Park Why is Jessica Park NOT an Outsider Artist? Just because an artist has a developmental disability does not mean he/she has to be segregated into the category of outsider art Her professional standing, magnitude of painting commissions , self-sufficiency and creativity allow her to stand on her own as a true artist not an outsider Her artwork showcases her rare abilities in spite of disabilities, instead of a being a “symptom” of her disability Park’s artwork is not created as a product of a mental disability, instead the elements of her pieces are carefully chosen with creativity, vision and general artistic competency Outsider artwork is considered “outside of the mainstream”, yet Park’s popularity as an artists tends to validate the fact that she is a true artist Park should be seen as a artist with an unusual ability and not as a person with a disability who creates art

Slide 7:

The flaws of using the term “Outsider Art”: Many artists are mistakenly classed as outsiders because their work is often judged as crude or primitive, when in fact they are just working in a style unfamiliar to our Western ideals Comparatively with other art movements, “Outsider Art” has no shared approaches, styles or attitudes; instead it becomes a grouping of artists that do not fall in any other categories, creating a disconnected group of unique artists “Outsider art” is the creation of historians, critics and collectors- everyone but the artists themselves Because of the lack of specificity, it is becoming an often misused and misunderstood term True outsider artists are unaffiliated with any specific genre or boundaries and have no need to be placed in a category Often artwork of other cultures is segregated into outsider art in spite of the culture’s extensive artistic history- which can be offensive to those of that culture Some Conclusions: Dodd house #1, with Green Lightening, 1989 The Duke University Chapel, 1993

Slide 8:

How is Jessica Park’s work similar to other artists with developmental disorders, specifically autism? ability to generate organizational systems, geometric tools, color grids obsessions with certain details or oddities; stars and astronomical patterns, light switches and electrical outlets Color manipulation changes her pieces into a different reality than we can see or understand Is Jessica Park a person with a disability who makes art or is she an artist with an unusual ability? Because Park’s artwork revolves around several autistic characteristics, it is easy to say she is an autistic person who can create art. But in reality she is an artist who utilizes her autistic traits to create even more imaginative artwork, the autistic qualities enhancing, not determining her pieces . Park utilizes her own creative inspiration throughout her works, choosing specific colors and adding or omitting objects to please the overall aesthetic of the piece Instead of using her disability as an excuse to categorize yet another artist, it is important to respect Park as an artist with incredible, yet unusual abilities Black Cat, White Cat, 2003 The House on 53 Cole Avenue, 2002

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