Featured Artist Barry Butch Sigel

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.


4 Brothers in Mexico

“4 Brothers in Mexico” Brush & Ink, 18″ X 24″


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.


Jesus on the Phone

“Jesus on the Phone” Brush & ink, 24″ X 18″


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.


Abstract Collage Painting

Abstract Collage Painting, 2′ x 4′


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.


Hot Dog

“Hot Dog” mixed media, 4′ x 2′


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.


Taught for 50 Years

“Taught for 50 Years” Brush & ink, 24″ X 18″


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.



“Sick” Brush & ink, 24″ X 18″


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.



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  1. Hi Barry Butch,
    I was asked to leave art school as well, but as an undergrad. The request was made because of my rebellion (rather than applying myself) and I told them frankly, “That’s not going to happen.”

    I passed that year with “C’s” which I thought meant “Average”; which I thought was okay…come to find out that these days a “C” is pretty much an “F”…who knew? Succeeding is the best revenge.

    I get along pretty well with some of my old professors, almost 30 years later. I like what I learned and use it more and more…glad I didn’t follow their advice at that time. Thanks for the memories!!!

  2. Hi Barry,
    I get a little feeling of Ben Shahn from your drawings…not exactly, but a little. I also have great respect for the developmentally disabled–when a person’s art is their primary form of communication it is a very different expression.

    You are very gracious to ask about my work–thank you. I tend towards large scale abstract art–if you click on my name it’ll take you to my website.

    Congratulations on your selection as an Artsyshark featured artist!

  3. Mr. Segil,

    I was one of your art students at FIT back in the late 90s. I have very fond memories of you as one of the people who helped shape my life as an artist. You were raw, honest, and not afraid to challenged those ready to push through their creative fears. I was one of those students. You might remember putting my painting on the top of your car and driving it all the way up to Washington Heights? No one but a teacher who truly cares would go that far to support a student. I’m sorry that I never got to say thank you! But you aren’t the easiest person to find. All the best to you. Maggie Hernandez-Knight

  4. Marc Arceneaux says

    Where is Louis Waitsman now adays ?1965-1967 I was a Fine Arts major at Maryland Institute College of Art and a classmate of Louis also,spent time talking to him and being blown away by the amazing drawings of super heros,his line so so good.What caused me to find your site (and view some of your works…Great Stuff} is that tonight 1967 days were in my thoughts and I opened a box called JUMBE{JUMBO cigarette box from the 30s I am guessing}that contained momentos collected in Baltimore and Saint Thomas that crazy year and one of the “Treasures”a sketch by Louie of one of the Instuctors at MICA{seems this is what people call it now} whose name I dont remember as I never took his classes,how perfect is Louies line to capture this guy,amazing all these years later I know that person like a photo.The drawing is only 3″X3″and so good.You must have been there when I was?Keep up the great art it is so important.I post on Instagram every day since May 2018 my son sets it up for me.Take care and Bestest Marc

  5. Jane gilmor says

    Barry died in 2017 and this is the only online information I can find for him. Working on a book about his work if you have other information send a comment here

    • Jane Gilmore not sure when you left this comment but I was a student of Barry Siegel’s at FIT in the late 90s. If you want a student’s perspective for your book, I’d be happy to contribute you can text or call me at 917-334-9910. ~Maggie Hernandez

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