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How a Self-Taught Artist Can Sell for $250,000

Outsider Art goes mainstream.
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Source: Courtesy Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago

American Primitive, an Upper East Side gallery that specializes in Outsider Art, lists some of its prices online. An animal sculpture covered in bottle caps by Terry Turrell is on sale for $3,800. A semi-abstract picture of figures on a boat by Max Romain, a Haitian self-taught artist now living in New York, is offered for $1,800. For anyone who’s tried to pry a price list from the unwilling hands of a New York gallery attendant, this kind of transparency is nothing short of unprecedented.

“I live in another universe, apparently,” says Aarne Anton, the gallery’s owner. “Nonetheless, Outsider Art really is art, and fortunately, it’s recognized as such these days.”