The art of talking to God

Post from Mark Barry

lesagelespritdelapyramideI must preface this by saying, I have been associated with AVAM [the American Visionary Art Museum] from it’s beginning and my wife is a founding board member (shown, outsider artist Augustin Lesage’s “L’esprit de la Pyramide”).

One of Emery Blagdon’s healing machines graced the stair well of the American Visionary Museum (, here in Baltimore also a few years back. If you can’t connect to the healing spirits with his wonderfully complex and beautiful creations, then you’d better double up on your yoga classes!

sonnernsternWhen the Visionary first opened there was a plague of – negative – thing – thinkers, debating the relevance of a museum for “Outsider Art”, or whether it was art at all, or my favorite, “now that it’s “discovered” this can’t be called outsider anymore, so there’s no reason to have a museum devoted to it.” (Shown, piece by outsider artist Friedrich Schroeder-Sonnenstern.)

I can’t remember ever leaving an AVAM exhibit without being moved and inspired, that’s more than can be said about “mainstream art”.

Visit the current show, “Golden Blessings Of Old Age” and let the work will speak for itself.

howardshellgarden…Mr Blagdon didn’t think of his work as art, most Outsiders don’t, they make things that are much more practical to their lives–very often a direct conversation to God, or in some cases [to] aliens (shown, Howard Dorset’s The Shell Garden, possibly a tribute to his son who died of meningitis). What ever we choose to call the work, most importantly, it’s relevant to the discussion, and more often than not, amazing!

Mark Barry is a painter living in Baltimore.