Oct 20th, 2021, 08:57 PM

Outsider Art: For the Curious & Uninhibited

By Corrie Delva
An Exhibition Review of le Musée D'art Naïf

Life feeling a little dull recently? Do you need a change of scenery, a little brush of some fresh new “perspective”? (To quote the iconic Anton Ego from Ratatouille). Well, look no further! I have done the hard work of traversing the diverse terrain of the Paris streets to find a gem, indeed. Le Musée D’art Naïf--- Max Fourny or the Museum of Naive Art, founded by Max Fourny, is located in the 18th arrondissement, just a short 4 minute walk away from the iconic Sacré Coeur Basilica. Currently on display are two exhibits, “Dans les têtes de Stephane Blanquet” --- In the heads of Stephane Blanquet, and “Tranchée Racine”--- Root Trenches, both on display until January 2, 2022. 

Situated on the outskirts of Paris, is only fitting to host The Musée D’art Naïf, showing primarily “outsider” art. This museum is one of the most interesting I have been to, even in comparison to Paris’ fine art collections. Although titled “naive” art, art from artists who were not formally educated, I find these types of exhibits the most provocative and engaging for the viewer. “Naive” artists tend to escape the labels and elitism often associated with the art world--- and their work are able to speak for themselves. The exhibit, “Dans les têtes de Stephane Blanquet”, is an evolving exhibit, as new pieces of all sorts (statues, tapestries, paintings) are put up every four months, delivering a new. The exposition “Tranchée Racine” shows the work of more than 50 artists around the world, working in all types of different art forms. 

When viewed live, this exposition is a marvel for all who come to see. I happened to stumble upon the museum randomly after visiting Sacré Coeur for the first time, and the experience was similar to entering into a park of attractions. On the bottom floor is Blanquet’s exposition; with mysterious string door entry, entering a dark room of colorful “everything’s”. While I hope you have the opportunity to visit the exposition yourself, to describe the art on display, I would call it nothing less than avant-garde. Blanquet does not hesitate to work with taboo subjects and make them the highlight of his pieces; with ideas of sexual relations and the often crude aspects of real-life relationships. This idea translates to the art of all the works in “Tranchée Racine”, showing primarily pop surrealism art, but surrounding all subjects under the sun. This exhibit has really opened my eyes to the possibilities of creating, as each piece evoked so many differing emotions and thoughts toward our society today. 

Now, if that persuasive description of the exhibit didn’t persuade you to want to come, nor the close proximity to Sacré Coeur, one of the most beautiful attractions of Paris, then you will surely make the trek as the museum is also a bookstore and cafe! Filled with books of all sorts and other artistic merchandise and additional gourmet patisseries is all you need to fulfill any day. My message to anyone who appreciates art for art: pay a visit to this fabulous place up in Montmartre.