Tag Archives: outsider art


A majority of the interviews/articles/reviews re: Ian Pyper make a point to state that Mr. Pyper is a tad on the laconic side. I have been in communiqué with the artist on numerous occasions and have never found him wanting for dialogue. No, he doesn’t ramble as much as I do, but then why does he need to? Ian Pyper’s  quite prolific art speaks for him and that art is one of relentless communication.

In this , Ian is a kindred spirit in the realm of outsider art, brut , visionary ,  fringe , primitive, or whatever term one wishes to apply in the those (often) tiresome blanks.  Regardless of what term one applies, Ian Pyper simply has a voice all his own.

Ian and other unconventional artists have been taking the art world by storm over the last few years and there is a reason for that.   The academic art school route has gone stale, becoming decorative and/or hopelessly commercial, appeasing to either dishonest aesthetics or consumerism.  Ian, and like-minded artists have defiantly grinded the  “steamroller blues”, utilizing their unique voices:  gallery themes, and marketing strategies be damned.

Ian Pyper’s work is certainly open to various interpretations. For me, his work bespeaks a visual world that blows in from the winds of the most ancient of ancients, and flows outward to a delightfully strange, ambiguous , music-filled future. Pyper world is one that is kin to the Italian Futurists , the surreal beatniks, post-serial music, and two-fisted, post-modern spirituality. Clearly, this is an intensely personal vision which, wisely, Ian does not spell out for the viewer , but his  world-view optimism seeps through all his idiosyncratic images of aliens, cave creatures, Grand Inquisitors, absurd two-headed saints, crucifixions, icons, God angels,  God’s eye, God’s hand, primitive masks, death heads, pyramids, fish, birds, scorpions, the wild west, tanks, apocalyptic aeroplanes, helicopters, spaceships, scenes of intergalactic wars, totem poles, and the Holy Trinity as you never saw it depicted in church.

I can’t quite put my finger on Ian Pyper , and I prefer it that way. However, I did notice that before I had sat down to write this,  I had just revisited Palazzeschi’s “Man of Smoke”, and Morton Subotnick’s electronic (and fun) bleepy composition,  “Silvery Apples of the Moon.” Initially, it was a subliminal connection, but after revisiting Ian’s work I realized I had just left these similar worlds before crossing into his. It was a good, familiar feeling.


From: Keith Banner, Butler County Board of MR/DD

Date: January 22, 2002

The Middletown Fine Arts Center, The Art Thing Project, & Empowered
People with Disabilities present…

When Silence Becomes Singing

…an art exhibit of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and words by
Antonio Adams, Kendra Bayer, Richard Brown, Cheryl Conley, Dan
Dagenbach, Jarel Galloway, Stevie Grueter, Patty Kempf, Pam Myrick,
Paul Rowland, Eric Ryan, Rose Sattler, Gregory Soellner Jr., Raymond
Thunder-Sky, Kevin White, and many others.

It opens March 22, 2002 at the Middletown Fine Arts Center in
Middletown, Ohio, with a reception from 6 to 8 PM. The Middletown
Fine Arts Center is located at 130 North Verity Parkway, and the
phone number is (513) 424-2417. You can also check out their web-
site or the Art Thing Project web-site. The show runs through April
11, 2002.

The artists in this exhibit use their art to let us know who they
are, and to give us a reason to celebrate what we have in common
with each other. Some of these artists are people who have done art
their whole lives. Others have just come to it. The works range from
group projects such as a self-standing mural (done by local high
school students, self advocates, a painter, and a poet), to a
collaborative project done through the mail between two artists who
live in different states (one with a disability and one without), to
innovative, visionary art done by several local self-taught artists.
The exhibit not only showcases beautiful, original art, it also
highlights the connection between making art and having your voice
heard. It is a celebration of silence becoming singing.

For more information, call Keith Banner at (513) 867-5932, Bill Ross
at (513) 587-7271, or email at KBanner333@aol.com.

* Here is another one I found in the Fringe Ezine that I posted there in 2004. I guess I was documenting it.


A stroll down East 10th Street  in the 1990s was never a casual experience. Arrests, drug deals done in public view, hookers, tattoo parlors and random gunshots were the norm. In the center of all this was a small hidden art gallery called “Utrillo’s Art.”

In the window  of Utrillo’s Art one frequently saw small, pop art paintings of kitty cats, or a friendly landscape, which did not prepare you at all for what you found inside and that was usually the many works of Jan Scott Boyer. Boyer himself was a frequent patron of the gallery. He rarely spoke and one could not help notice the pistol attached to his belt. His hand never strayed far from his gun. Greg Brown, the owner of that late gallery, only explained that Boyer was hyper sensitive, so I didn’t inquire, but oh, did I absorb Boyer’s work. Boyer, like his work, is enigmatic, but it is a loud sort of mysteriousness which you are forced to respect.

Boyer refers to his work as “Allism.” I’m not sure what that means, but I am sure that the description seems apt since his imagery seems to include just about everything, including the kitchen sink. Boyer’s earlier works were often sexually graphic. That quality has long since disappeared, but his work is no less provocative and no less hypnotic.

Among the earlier works is the epic “Circus of the Imagination” with literally thousands of figures crammed into what could only be described as something akin to a Hieronymus Bosch or Ken Russell carnival.  “Allism: The Next Wave” features rocketing giant penises amidst a disturbingly surreal universe. In that canvas and in canvases such as “Days in Taranta”, ‘Allism Pyramid”, ‘Allism in Toyland”, and “Worlds of Allism” unspeakable acts of torture  and sexual humiliations are being perpetrated upon  exposed women. These works are as unsettling as stumbling upon one of the many second and third century Gnostic Apocalypses. Understandably, damn few women responded to Boyer’s works from that period.

Later, Boyer’s works became increasingly obsessed with his unique shapes and compositions, taking him into the realms of energized landscapes, such as ‘Superstructure” and “Skyline.” Voodoo masks were a frequently repeated them, and later Boyer ventured into complete abstraction in canvases titled  “Infinite Energy Array” and “Shattered.”

* I came across a 1995 treasure: a Nuvo article on Jan Scott Boyer, that I thought couldn’t be more perfect. It was written by art critic Sharon Calhoon.

“ARTIST JAN SCOTT BOYER has been writing to me for about 18 months.
Sometimes it’s once a week, sometimes once a month. All the letters
are the same- usually on legal paper, cursive at the beginning,
jabbingly printed at the end, highlighted with red underline marks
and words running in every direction.
They all read the same. Here’s part of his March 12,1995 letter-
which is much like the others:
Dear Miss Calhoon
I have solidified STRONG SUPPORT for my ALLISM ART on Mass Ave,
Galleries, I am getting a following downtown, my ALLISM ART is being
collected already, now I am about to expand to another gallery, one
perhaps two are ready to give me a serious ALLISM Show. I plan a show
in 95 in Indianapolis, perhaps Chicago, I will go to Chicago next,
will expand to Broadripple too.
ALLISM is the HOTTEST art in Indy.I will simply let them see the
magnetic art power, will ignite INSTANT momentum, chain reaction,
make instant MOST visible. ALLISM IS MY CUBISM, only MORE powerful.
ROCK IS ALLISM NEXT WAVE most powerful cutting edge thing going on
in art in Indy, AMERICA, if you are a SERIOUS PROFESSIONAL AT ALL
come to my studio bring MR. Ullmann.
Black hole of ART UNIVERSE. Dare to go beyond.
Jan Scott Boyer Creator of Allism.

After years of this kind of relentless communication with just about
everyone remotely connected with art, Boyer is finally being
exhibited at the Denoument Gallery. Though Boyer is actually a damn-
fine painter, his imagery couldn’t be more disturbing.
It is obsessive sexual imagery where nude and wicked women are
exposed and posed in the most degrading manner. They are dismembered.
Devilish heads emerge from their abdomens while the monster’s horns
spear the evil goddess’s huge breasts. Every manner of body fluid is
squirting out of every imaginable and unimaginable site. Boyer
totally exposes these women’s labium and rectums. Multiple large
penises of many colors penetrate the women. Long tongues snake toward
the orifices. Fecal matter oozes forth.
In some of the smaller canvases Boyer focuses on a singular evil
queen. In larger works there is a network of such women, who exist in
corners of the futuristic Allism metropolis. In these scenes, BLADE
RUNNER landscape meets the psycho, carnivorous sexual pervert.
Most critics, gallery owners and media persons have believed if they
ignored Boyer, he would go away. There has been a universal attitude
of ‘not encouraging’ him. Despite his treatment, Boyer has
Steven Stoller, Denoument Gallery’s owner, said he gave Boyer the
exhibit because the artist has followed his personal vision for
seven years, regardless of the media and art community’s inattention.
Stoller considers Boyer an outsider artist and he may be right.
In the largest definition of the term, outsider art is created by a
self taught artist who works tirelessly in a vernacular of his own
invention. He is not influenced by market or fad. Where Boyer
separates himself from true outsider artists, though, is in his
obsession to gain attention for his work.
Some pretty pushy artists have sent mail my way, but none come close
to Boyer. His pestering  borders on harassment .Although I’d seen a
piece or two of Boyer’s art over the last two years, I went to his
opening because you never know where genius lurks. There IS something
lurking in Boyer and his work, and it’s pretty creepy. At the
opening Boyer told me that if I wrote about him, he wouldn’t bother
me again-and I have witnesses.”

Jan Scott Boyer’s work can be seen and purchased at the Artistic Spirit Gallery website, which is below, along with that site’s bio on Boyer.

Allism in Toyland




Artistic Spirit Bio:

Jan Scott Boyer was born in Indiana in 1941. He attended area Catholic schools but suffered from a learning disability and never attended high school. He began painting as a teenager and did both landscapes and abstracts. He traveled and sold his canvases all over the Midwest but was overcome by stress and placed on disability. His career has been a study of contrasts. He has been a three time prize winner at the Hoosier Salon. In 1989, he created “Allism,” an abstract motif that depicted horrendous scenes of torture. He has been placed under scrutiny because of a letter writing campaign to area art professionals but he has also been featured in local and national outsider art shows. The content of his work continues to evolve, as does his process. An overview of his paintings of the last fifteen years or so will show the deliberate changes he has made. The transition is never sudden but the viewer can see old merging with new forms until he has adapted to his latest subject matter and painting techniques. He will spend weeks completing details on his canvases, some containing hundreds of figures, buildings, or objects from his very creative imagination.