Artist Barry Butch Sigel presents his portfolio, which is influenced by outsider art. Enjoy, and be sure to visit his website to see more of his work.
I moved to New York City from Baltimore after one year at the Yale Graduate School of Art, leaving at their request without a degree. But a friendship with another student there did eventually lead to my teaching art at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
I’ve always been a figurative painter and have continued to draw from life with brush & ink. Interestingly, while my drawing technique has grown more complex, it’s not that different from my art school work.
Since 2012, I have temporarily departed from straight ahead figure paintings to combining collaged images with strong color. Still, I am drawn to working from life and plan on producing art that includes a number of approaches, all of them focused on images.
A major influence on my art was the chance meeting with another student at the Maryland Institute of Art. Louis Waitsman was my age, but his mind showed him to be about 11 years old psychologically. And his art was that of an outsider, a term that wasn’t used back then. We became friends, and he turned out to be a huge factor in how I made art . . . and still is. It’s not that I try to mimic outsider artists, but it often seems to flow out of me, like when I’m violating the laws of perspective in a drawing.
Also, I tend to try and choose the “wrong” colors like Louis did. My art doesn’t really resemble untrained artists, but I do my best not to obey academic principles. When I am printing a screen print, I make sure that each copy of a particular image has its own unique colors, rather than being an exact duplicate of the first one.
When I’m working on the collage and color paintings, all my decisions as to image and colors are initially based on intuition. Then I will step back and stare at what I’ve just done and try to decide whether it stays or needs to be changed. Waiting a day or two to make a decision makes this process almost obvious.
Barry invites you to also view his portfolio on CarbonMade.