Raw Vision, the internationally renowned magazine of Outsider Art, turns 25 years old this year, and to help it mark this milestone, Comme des Garçons is collaborating with the magazine throughout 2014. This partnership kicks off publicly at The Outsider Art Fair, which takes place at Center 548, 548 West 22nd Street in New York from May 8 to 11, 2014.
Raw Vision and Comme des Garçons constitute two of the world’s most individualistic creative exemplars: visionary art as reflected in the pages of Raw Vision and the imaginative mind of fashion designer Rei Kawakubo. To celebrate its quarter-century of success, Raw Vision has granted exclusive rights to its vast reservoir of images and layouts for use by Comme des Garçons to create 20 to 30 mini-magazines that will be dispersed around the globe. Launched in 1969 in Tokyo by Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons has for the past 45 years proudly cultivated a reputation for outré designs, making the label highly relatable to Outside Art. The fashion designer is planning multiple installations featuring Raw Vision at their stores and Dover Markets in New York, London, Paris, Bejing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore next October.
Founded by London-based John Maizels in 1989, Raw Vision has for the past 25 years advanced the appreciation of Outsider Art in a wide and ever-growing international audience, earning the magazine the byname the Rolling Stone of Outsider Art. “My original motivation was that I believed that outsider art was the most authentic and purest form of art known to man, but apart from me and a few others hardly anyone had heard of it. It was a mission, certainly, and like outsider artists, I had no profit motive,” explains Maizels.
Raw Vision’s unique focus on Outsider Art has earned it many devoted subscribers, including David Bowie, Brian Eno, Cameron Diaz, Jarvis Cocker and the late Lou Reed, as well as major international Outsider art collectors. Raw Vision, the internationally renowned magazine of Outsider Art, turns 25 years old
Says Maizels, “When Rei Kawakubo approached me about using Raw Vision’s rich trove of Outsider Art images as presented in our award-winning layouts, I knew her reputation as one of the world’s most innovative and imaginative fashion designers, and recognized that she grasped the unique and powerful character of the Outsider artists that Raw Vision has tirelessly promoted since the late ’80s.”
“When Raw Vision first started, it was in a primordial era when Outsider artists and even large Outsider Art environments were still being discovered and documented,” says Maizels, an Outsider art collector in his own right. “It’s extremely gratifying that Raw Vision is responsible in no small measure for the attention many Outsider artists have received and the recognition that they now enjoy—woefully overdue in most cases.”
Another aspect of Raw Vision’s 25th birthday is a comprehensive exhibition of Outsider Art at the Halle Saint Pierre in Paris. On view since September 2013 and running through August 8, 2014, the show features works by 81 Outsider artists from around the world, including such monumental names in Outsider Art as Bill Traylor, Adolf Wölfli and Henry Darger, alongside others that are not so well known and whose works have never been shown publicly.
Nowadays, Outsider Art is a globally recognized sensation, and nowhere is it celebrated with more energy and in a more sweeping manner than at New York’s Outsider Art Fair. For 21 years it has been the world’s foremost annual show of Outsider, Self-Taught and Folk Art. And for 21 years, the Outsider Art Fair had always taken place in winter—that is, until this year. For the first time, the Fair will take place in the spring, from May 8-11 at Center 548, the former home of the Dia Art Foundation, located at 548 West 22nd Street in Chelsea. (The dates coincide with the New York edition of the Frieze Art Fair.)
The Outsider Art Fair opening gala takes place on May 8 and will benefit God’s Love We Deliver, the leading provider of life-sustaining meals and nutrition counseling for people living with severe illness in the New York City metropolitan area. Admission for early access, from 3 to 6 p.m., is $100. The general vernissage is from 6 to 9 p.m., with an admission price of $50. A daily ticket for the remainder of the show is $20, and a pass for the full run is $50. Hours are Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday May 11 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit: www.outsiderartfair.com.
For information about Raw Vision visit: www.rawvision.com and for Comme des Garcons, visit: www. commes-des-garcons.com