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Friday, July 10, 2009


Frank Maresca , part-owner of the Ricco/Meresca Gallery in NY, is one of the leading experts on and collectors of outsider art in the country.
And this is his home. (NYSD)

Outsider Art
"Refers to the creative work of artists who are self-taught and/or those who, for a variety of reasons, are what I consider fortunately impervious to being taught how to make art. It now includes all of the following:
The naive, the innocent, the self-taught,
the visionary, the intuitive, the eccentric;
The schizophrenic, the developmentally disabled,
the psychotic, the obsessive, the compulsive.

The French artist Jean Dubuffet is perhaps more responsible than anyone else for our current awareness of what we now call Outsider Art. He coined the phrase Art Brut, which literally means Raw Art, to refer to art made by those described above. The raw and the pure, without the countless layers of training and cultural sophistication that afflicts most mainstream art, is what appeals to me and is how I identify that which I call Outsider Art." (
These are Halloween Masks molds. I like these and I think that they are super interesting as I think many pieces in his private collection are..
In the right application you can appreciate almost anything. NO ?
It is very collectable and HOT right now, so what is TRAMP Art ?
"Tramp Art is a type of Folk Art, and collecting it these days is “hot.” Tramp Art in America dates back to the Civil War through the 1930’s, and there are thousands of tramp art objects in circulation. Boxes and mirror frames which sold for a few cents in the late 1950’s, are worth hundreds of dollars today.

Tramp Art is a wanderer’s art form, so there are no written records of the carver’s work. Typically, tramps and hobos would congregate around campfires, where they would sing songs, recite poetry, and create their own individual works of art. The hobos would usually whittle while tramps would carve, using the wood from free supplies of cigar boxes and fruit crates.

Tramp Art comes in a great variety, from small boxes and frames, to large furniture and intricate objects. The artists were usually untrained craftsmen, people who wanted to decorate everyday objects, using the chip carving method." ALL SANDS

Personally, for the most part,I do not care for the case goods or the upholstery in this apartment. But, I do think some great things were done with the art.
Spinal; column from a chiropractor's office in Chicago c 1925’s . I was bowled over by this, it is a sculpture as far as I am concerned. But, I have a side of me that is fascinated by the dark side. Why are some people EVIL ?? How can a person kill another? It's not what you might think, it's not necessarily that they are crazy. It's a DNA thing......For instance...I would have loved to have been a forensic psychiatrist, homicide detective, or a D.A. fighting crime and putting away the evil serial killers. The only TV series that I watch is DEXTER on showtime. Need I say more???? (Dexter is a serial killer that only kills other serial killers)

The Halloween molds.

I think his display is fabulous. Each head is illuminated and set on a floating shelf.
Now, if you are thinking that these would not look good in a home with traditional just might be wrong. It is all in the application, and ART is a separate entity. Art is not meant to MATCH a room. It does if you bought a model home from a builder to live in. That is what they do in 'cookie cutter designs' by designers who do 'MODEL HOMES'. I should know, in 1984 I worked for the leading model home interior design firm in Florida for four years. The designs are meant to sell homes. And also the designs are meant for the entire market. That means EVERYBODY. And what is taken into account when doing the design is this; cover the homes short comings, and design for people that do not understand design (the 'entire market' people). In other words, your audience is less sophisticated. A sophisticated home owner should know that 'art' is ART.

Ray guns from c.1930's
And I like these too.

What do you like in this post ?
Is there a piece you would use ?

To see the entire piece published on him go here; Photographs by Jeffrey Hirsch

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG.....
Interior Design, Palm Beach, Boca Raton,Design Sources, Window Treatments, Custom Design, Paint, Color Coordination, Online Interior Design, Floor Plans, All Custom, Outsider Art



  1. I really like to see all kinds of art and how it's used so each piece is interesting to me but my favorites would be the Tramp Art and the Spinal Column (my husband is a mechanical engineer for an Orthropedic Company in Spinal). Once took a career test and it came out that I should be a detective as well because of my attention to detail!! My kids never knew how I found things out! HA! Also a "self-taught" artist with no formal training at've really inspired me again Renee! I need to stay home and paint! Thanks!

  2. Have you been to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore? It's party central for outsider art!

  3. I know someone who works in Forensics. Really interesting.
    My favourite pieces are the ladies skipping around in their bikinis !!Love them, XXXX

  4. Pigtown-Design
    well, i am definitely going there when i get up to baltimore.

  5. Lulo,

    You have GOT TO PAINT !
    DO IT!!


  6. Renee - how informative this piece is to us not so "artsy" folk. I have an artist friend/designer Erich Ginder (ghost tree & mansion chandelier) who has been working on "bum" art the last few years & had no clue what that was. I quite like the floating heads on the wall & the vintage game boards hung too. We all watch Dexter too. It's like a train wreck where you can't look away. Great post as always!

  7. Dumbwit Tellher ♥

    I know, it is like a train wreck, but better.
    at least in the end there is a POINT to the disaster !
    right ?


  8. I've always had an attraction to art by self-taught artists..., never thought of it as outsider art, or knew that it was called that.

  9. Thank you so much for these wonderful photos of Frank's home and his collection. This man is a genius with design and he and Roger Ricco have some of the best eyes in the business. What a thrill to "walk" through these rooms and take a peek!

  10. I did not realize that was the premise behind Dexter. The Halloween face masks were very interesting. I find you certainly need to have an art gallery style house to make this kind of stuff work?

    Fun tour Renee!

  11. Interesting MIss Renee! I am terrible when it comes to choosing art. I appreciate all kinds and and the talent that goes behind much of it (there is some that truly I think I could do, which isn't saying much).

  12. I loved your insider observations, Renee. Very interesting. I totally agree with what you said on the whole "model homes" "dumbing it down for the masses" thing. great post. P.S. I love your personality and thanks for the sweet comments! XO



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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