Who Are The Outsiders?

You may ask, who are the Outsiders? How do they get chosen for this project?
From Tennessee:
In this project, I will be creating portraits of people who were outsiders of their own field of work. From science, music, art, writing, fashion, and beyond, I will be writing the stories of each outsider’s life, and imbedding it into the structure of their portrait. Here the piece acts dually as a portrait AND a story, and all of them combined will talk about persevering through the darkest of times to create a different kind of beauty that changed the world.
From Leslie:
Tennessee and I seem to mesh really well with the essential elements for inclusion in Art Outsiders.  Some names came very easily, some led to a bit of arguing, and some we both knew instantly just wouldn’t be acceptable for either of us.  In Tennessee’s research, he has sometimes encounted information that made continuing difficult.  But history is fickle.  Artists have sometimes had to be opportunistic, bendable, or have had questionable decisions.  It becomes about a balancing act.  When the destructive nature of their choices overrides how much they have inspired the world to expansion, we have to let them go.  There are certainly some names that are very personal to us, and since it’s our project, we’re ok with that.  We are also learning about people about whose influence we were entirely ignorant. That’s what makes Art Outsiders so beautiful. 


Along with the portraits already viewable in the gallery, here is the current list of Art Outsiders that have been largely vetted--with many more being currently researched.  While some potential names for Art Outsiders may drop off after extended research, these are all currently on the list of people who will be part of the project...

Marlene Detriech
Truman Capote (young)
Billie Holiday
Mary Shelley
Frances Farmer
Alvin Ailey
Antoine de St Exupery
HP Lovecraft
Lorraine Hansbury
Georgia O’Keefe
Bessie Smith
Rene Descartes
Frida Kahlo
Hans Christian Anderson
Susan B Anthony
Tennessee Williams
Margaret Sänger
Paul Robeson
Langston Hughes
Gertrude Stein
Kate Bush
Rock Hudson
Liz Taylor
John Garfield
Dorothy Parker
Yayoi Kasama
Helen Keller
Tom Waits
Talulla Bankhead
Robert Johnson
Maria Callas
Bayard Rustin

As mentioned above, we have many more artists representing a wide variety of genres and from all over the world, still in the research phase!

Although Tennessee and Leslie clearly have a subjective framework from which they are selecting portraits to include in the series, we are open to considering other names, and indeed have only begun to research artists.  In fact many of these names were chosen at the very first sit-down!  Please use the contact page to send us names or requests, and we will consider them.