Like many collectors, David Byrne wants to you to believe he’s been priced out of the market he collects in, Outsider art. Here’s what he told the Wall Street Journal on the eve of the Outsider Art Fair in New York:
How long have you been collecting outsider art, and what draws you to this genre?
I bought some [Henry] Dargers, [Joseph] Yoakums and [Howard] Finsters—I think it was very early 80s. I had read the existing books on Outsider art or Art Brut. I found the work hugely inspiring—straight from the dark twisted heart that we all share. By the mid-80s I commissioned Howard Finster to do a record cover for Talking Heads.
Is it getting harder to collect in this area—more competition for a great work?
Oh yeah. Some of the stuff I have I couldn’t afford now. My house is pretty full, and I’m not about art as investment, so with a full house I’ve slowed down a bit. The more well-known names are the same price as many contemporary artists, which is as it should be. They’re not at the level of the blue-chip contemporary artists—so the investment vultures haven’t swooped in yet—it still mostly feels like it’s about the art.
David Byrne on His Outsider Art Collection (Speakeasy/WSJ)