Outsider Art by John Doherty

Brisbane artist, John Doherty, shares his collection of art works with Story and showcases how therapeutic the process of painting is for him

The French artist Jean Dubuffet took the Surrealist obsession with Outsiders to a new level by daring to collect and exhibit their work. Not only did he champion the artwork of schizophrenics and local mediums, but he also celebrated art made by eccentric isolates and self-taught labourers. Dubuffet recognized in the work of these divergent groups one unifying trait: a raw quality untouched by academic rules or current trends.

“I’ve got a huge collection of artwork at home, and try to paint daily. Art is very good for my health; it is very uplifting for the spirit and it works to communicate good vibes for people.” John Doherty, Artist

John Doherty is a Brisbane based artist, who has engaged in community art groups and initiatives for over 15 years. With a lived experience of schizophrenia, homelessness and marginalisation, Doherty has found art to be a form of therapy and purpose.

Recently Doherty successfully exhibited a large retrospective of works at Hope Street Café, an activity of Micah Projects. Doherty has a distinct style of freely brushed colours in which you can see a heavy influence from Impressionist artists such as Chagall and Cezanne – artists he refers to as heroes. Doherty confessed that he will continue to paint and exhibit his art so long has he has a bit of paint and a brush in hand.