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The mesmerizing image pictured above was created by self-taught, Argentine artist Julia Sisi, whose vibrant visionary aesthetic is featured in the current issue of Raw Vision Magazine.  Several more images of faces that I came upon while visiting the Outsider Art Fair 2019 at the Metropolitian Pavilion in Chelsea follow:

Self-taught Japanese painter Issei Nishimura, Copy, Acrylic, colored gesso, linen on plywood, 2013

Pure Vision Arts Queens-based artist Roy Gabbay, Untitled, Acrylic on board, 2017

Self-taught UK-based artist Stephen Goddard , Linda, oil on panel, 2016

Self-taught Japanese artist Masayoshi Hanawa, Untitled

The late African-American self-taught artist Mose Tolliver, George Washington, Housepaint on found wood

Photos by Lois Stavsky


Committed to providing full inclusion for people with disabilities, SHEKEL offers an enormous range of resources to thousands of people – religious and secular, Jews and Arabs — throughout Israel. Among SHEKEL‘s more recent ventures is “The Open Space,” a wondrous site in the country’s center that provides people with autism an opportunity to engage closely with the natural world, while developing new skills and interests. Among the many activities that “The Open Space” offers are: agriculture, animal care, horse-riding, cooking, computers, ceramics, language and communications development. On her recent travels, arts specialist and ARTBreakOUT co-founder Bonnie Astor had the opportunity to conduct an art workshop — focusing on the theme of happiness — with several young adults at “The Open Space.” Featured above is Yonatan’s depiction of happiness — a horse and a home. Several more images captured that day follow:

Yonatan at work

Omer depicts his past, present and future — with the “present” characterized by bold, vivacious colors

Omer assesses his completed painting

Sharon illustrates “happiness” with some direction and encouragement from Bonnie Astor

And Sharon — a bit later in the day — with her favorite donkey

Special thanks to Sharon Simmer, SHEKEL’s Resource Development and Communications officer, for introducing us to this extraordinary space and to “Open Space” manager Tlalit Bar for sharing so much with us during our visit.

Photos by Lois Stavsky


Based in Orange, New Jersey, Arts Unbound is a non-profit organization dedicated to the artistic achievement of people living with mental, developmental and physical disabilities. Currently on exhibit in the delightfully welcoming Dora Stern Gallery, located at 544 Freeman Street, is No Shame in My Game, an intriguing exhibition featuring artworks in a diverse range of styles and media by African-American and African diaspora artists with disabilities. The image pictured above was painted by self-taught Montclair-based artist and musician Richard Pierson, who also performed — along with his trio — at the opening. Several more artworks that I captured while visiting this past Saturday evening’s opening follow:

Also by Richard Pierson, Sunny View

Newark-based multidisciplinary artist  Armisey Smith, My Black is Beautiful

NJ-based artist and arts specialist Danielle ScottBlind, Seen and Unbroken (Keratoconus eye 2018)

NYC-based artist and hand-stylist Dubblex, Six Innocent Unarmed Blacks Murdered

From the outside looking in

Dubblex signs window he designed with his distinct handstyle

No Shame in My Game continues through March 16th at 544 Freeman Street in Orange, NJ, a short commute from NYC.

Photos by Lois Stavsky


Reinterpreting images that he finds in magazines, Marlo Mullen fashions infectious paintings characterized by playful abstractions. Diagonosed with autism spectrum disorder and largely non-verbal, Mullen communicates essentially through his artworks. Based in Berkeley, California, Mullen, who was born in 1963, creates his work at NIAD Art Center in Richmond. Marlon Mullen: 2017 – 2018, featuring the artist’s paintings largely based on images from covers of ARTnews, is on view at JTT, 191 Chrystie Street 2F, through Sunday, February 17. Several more of Mullen’s artworks than can be seen at JTT, follow:

Untitled, Acrylic on linen, 2018

Untitled, Acrylic on linen, 2017

Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 2017

Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 2017

Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 2017

Photos of images by Lois Stavsky


Pictured above is a mixed-media painting featuring a couple in what appears to be a domestic setting by the self-taught Israeli artist, Vered Gersztenkorn. Several more artworks — fashioned in varied styles and media depicting couples in a range of situations and poses — that I’ve come upon in my recent travels follow:

Austrian artist Johann Garber, as seen on the Haus der Künstler, the House of Artists 

Self-taught Brazil-based artist Paulina Pinsky, Wedding Portrait, Oil on wood, as seen at GINA Gallery 

Brooklyn-based self-taught artist Sara Erenthal, as seen in Jaffa

Unidentified artist, as seen on the grounds of the Negev Artist House

Photos by Lois Stavsky


Curated by Johann Feilacher, the artistic director of museum guggingbrain feeling.! art from gugging from 1970 to the present showcases a wonderfully diverse range of Art Brut, representing five decades of artistic creativity in Gugging. Featured artists include several — now deceased — who had achieved considerable recognition while advancing the representatiton of Art Brut in the mainstream art world, along with representatives of the current generation of Gugging artists.The image featured above,Two Angels, (© Art Brut KG) was fashioned the late, famed Austrian outsider artist August Walla in 1986. Several more images of works on exhibit by Gugging artists — that I saw on my recent visit — follow:

The late Slovakia native Johann Hauser, Naked Woman with Hat, 1986 © Privatstiftung – Künstler aus Gugging

The late Austrian artist Johann Fischer, Und wollen in der … , 2000 © Privatstiftung – Künstler aus Gugging

Vienna native Leonhard Fink, the Map of the City of Linz in Upper Austria, 2014 © galerie gugging

Lower Austria native Heinrich Reisenbauer, Watering Cans, 2017 © Privatstiftung – Künstler aus Gugging

brain feeling.! art from gugging from 1970 to the present continues through November 4 1921 at museum gugging, a wondrous oasis of outsider art, located approximately 12 miles outside of Vienna.

All images courtesy museum gugging


Pictured above is Streets of Tel Aviv, Pua painted with oil on canvas by the Tel Aviv-based self-taught artist Avraham Kan. What follows are several more fanciful landscapes that I’ve recently encountered in a diverse range of settings:

The late largely self-taught Austrian artist Hundertwasser, Who Has Eaten All My Windows, Mixed media, as seen at the Museum Hundertwasser in Vienna

Austrian artist Franziska Schmalzl, Expedition ins Kartoffelland, Mixed media, as seen at Kunst Klinger Contemporary in Vienna

Self-taught Hungarian painter Laszlo Koday, Here Is My Horse, Oil on canvas, as seen at GINA Gallery in Tel Aviv

Self-taught Italian artist Guido Vedovato, Owl Amidst theTrees, Oil on canvas, as seen at GINA Gallery in Tel Aviv

Photos of images by Lois Stavsky


In 2000, the self-taught German artist Hans Langner aka birdman began the transformation of an old farmhouse in Bad Tölz, Bavaria, Germany into a riveting art installation featuring hundreds of birds. Rendered in a range of styes and media — often on repurposed objects — the birds startle with their sumptuously simple lines and curves. The effects of time and weather add to the intrigue of the “birdhouse” that was completed in 2013, as its appearance is invariably changing. The remarkable assemblage has since made its way onto the premises of the Art Brut Center Gugging. What follows are several more images of it that I captured while visiting Gugging:

Another huge segment from the front of the Birdhouse

The doorway to the Birdhouse

The Birdhouse, closer up

And another close-up

Photos by Lois Stavsky


A hugely significant cultural center on the outskirts of Vienna, Art Brut Center Gugging is dedicated to showcasing and promoting Art Brut or Raw Art. Among the distinctive buildings on its grounds is the Haus der Künstler, the House of Artists. Home to the Gugging Artists since 1981, its exterior is fashioned with artworks by an array of talented, emotionally challenged residents — current and former — including Oswald Tschirtner, August Walla, Johann Garber, Philipp Schöpke. Johann Korec, Johann Fischer and Arnold Schmidt.  Pictured above is a small fragment of the intriguing building as seen from the outside. Several more images I captured of the House of Artists on my recent visit to Art Brut Center Guggin follow:

Another segment of the building’s exterior

And several close-ups

And off to the side — Johann Garber

The House of Artists provides its residents with a supportive living environment, allowing them to create independently and thrive as artists.

Photos of images by Lois Stavsky


Featuring an eclectic range of art in a variety of media, Roadside Attraction continues through January 2, 2019 at the Self-Taught Genius Gallery in Long Island City. Drawn from the American Folk Art Museum’s extensive collection, the art on exhibit reflects the curious roadside attractions that proliferated along mainstream American highways and backroad byways in the first decades of the 20th century.  Several more mages from the magically intriguing exhibition — curated by Sarah Margolis-Pineo — follow:

Ralph Fasanella, Workers’ Holiday-Coney Island, 1965, oil on canvas

Howard Finster, Delta Painting, 1983, Enamel paint of wood panel

Clarance and Grace Woolsey, Untitled Figures, Mixed media with bottle caps

Purvis Young, Untitled, Paint on found wood

Mary T Smith to the right of Purvis Young, with train by Howard Finster

Located at 47-29 32nd Place in Long Island City, the Self-Taught Genius Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is free.

Note: The huge doll prominently featured in the first image is the work of Calvin and Ruby Black 

Photos of artworks by Lois Stavsky