Outsider Art is a tricky ol’ subject. What defines being an ‘outsider’? Is it being untrained and uneducated? Is it living on the outskirts of society? Is it just being actually outside, maybe without an umbrella? Well, in the case of the Wellcome Collection’s latest exhibition, the outsiders are all attendees of social welfare institutions in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture. They create their art as a form of therapy or distraction, with no real intention of becoming the next Tracey Emin or Damien Hirst.
But none of this is that important, because the work of the 46 artists in the show is so good, and so fascinating, that their backgrounds are almost irrelevant. There are tiny wire-frame superheroes, large clay totem poles, abstract diaries and bawdy nudes. It’s also the Wellcome’s last show before refurbishing the space, so don’t miss it. Eddy Frankel
See the best bits of Outsider Art from Japan.