Van Der Plas Gallery is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition at 156 Orchard Street, featuring painting and multimedia work by outsider artists Konstantin Bokov, Ross Brodar, Issa Ibrahim, and John Van Orsouw. “These original artists create from an unstoppable organic need,” says gallery owner, Adriaan Van Der Plas, “they share a vital and genuine sensibility that’s an unmistakable part of the outsider and other fine contemporary artists who find a home here.”
The four self-taught artists in this diverse show not only make art without the restraints of the commercial art world – but often in defiant opposition to them. Ross Brodar staged an exhibit of his urban and internal landscapes on the curb of the Outsider’s Art Show in protest of the show’s exclusivity. Konstantin Bokov, who was expelled from the Soviet Union for his nonconformist ideologies in 1974, became something of a folk hero in New York for his satiric and whimsical recycled multimedia pieces. When institutionalized at Creedmore Psychiatric Center, Issa Ibrahim’s unflattering portraits of the staff were confiscated, yet he found a way to continue making art by creating the anonymous body prints exhibited here. van Osrouw describes himself as self-taught but not unschooled, his riotous, kinetic paintings attest to his lifelong study of life and jazz.
The force of the artists’ spirits combined with their innate skill and talent has earned them accolades, often from the very institutions that once rejected them. Bokov’s work now appears in a permanent exhibit at the State Art Museum of Vladivostok in Russia, and Brodar has shown at the Outsider Art Fair in recent years.
This is the first show of Van Der Plas Gallery at its new address at 156 Orchard Street, which relocated after Hurricane Sandy.