One booth at the fair really stood out stylistically from all the rest, it was curated by Hudson at Feature, Inc. and had beautiful abstract works on paper from India. My favorite were the Korwa drawings. These drawings are made by men, women and children who are illiterate and who all get drunk (children too) on wine made from flowers. They communicate through these gestural line scribbles and wiggles that happen through a kind of trance. It is their primary form of written expression. I also found out that they are prisoners in their own land - they are not allowed to leave :-(.
Scott: Why did you choose to show the anonymous Tantra paintings and the Korwa drawings?
Hudson: Of all the stuff that I show that I thought would really qualify were the Tantra paintings. I’ve been interested in the Korwa drawings for about 10 years so it was a perfect opportunity. I thought about Tom of Findland..
S: Oh yeah..
H: ..and in some ways you could say that he fits in here but he was trained, but his work is outside of and has been outside of the mainstream art world by most peoples points of view so that would be one way to say to bring him in but I would rather, it was a little close for me. I thought it would be better to show something that was more outside.
S: I think it’s interesting that the Tantra paintings are anonymous. Why is that?
H: They’re anonymous because they’re historical images and the people who paint them, some who are artists, some who are not, are not the people who generated the original images. Those images have existed for centuries and every time that anyone in the practice of Tantra represents that image, they try and have it be as true as possible to the original. So they can’t claim ownership.
S: How do you feel about the label in general, “outsider art?”
H: Not a good idea but it sort of reflects the way the culture divides things. Labels like that are bad but labels help people at the same time discern difference or distinguish particularities of genres. But the notion of ‘outsider art’ makes you think of ‘insider art’ and the dynamic between those two things is bad.