Older Folk Art: Contemporary Outsider Art

Unique oil paintings and mixed media collage.

"Carol Es is a self-taught visionary artist, writer, and musician who was born and raised in Los Angeles. Known for creating personal narratives, they has used past experience as the fuel for their subject matter, transforming a broken history into a positive and spiritual resolve. Candid experiences are laid bare and forged directly into their paintings, drawings, installations, videos, and handmade books."

- Michael Jerome Phillips


This selection of work is, in part, the "root" of my painting style. Some might call this genre of art: Outsider Art, Art Brut, Visionary art, or naïve art. Raw Vision Magazine has definitions about this stuff, but I just call it a kind of folk art style because I don't want to confuse my work with any of these definitions even though I might fit into any particular one of them. For the sake of searching out my work and what it looks like, Outsider Art would be the best description of it.

But I've never been what you'd call a true "Outsider Artist." I don't live in a shed on the fringes of society, but I am completely self-taught. I've had no formal training of any kind. I didn't grow up with the Internet and I've not even cracked open any real teaching books to speak of. However, I went to a lot of museums, and in recent years I've been studying a lot of art history. I've read a lot of art criticism, and I've looked at more art than you can shake a stick at, which is an art education in and of itself. I don't think you can stay naive forever; an artist must take their risks and evolve sooner or later, and I do my best.