Ken Law, Outsider Artist, Taiwan


Outsider Artist Ken Law


Ken Law Outsider Artist (Ken Freeman), Tainan, Taiwan:

“Painting has become a connection for me and a lifeline to the world. I don’t communicate very well with other people.  I’m usually misunderstood and the more I explain my intentions, the further I’m misunderstood.”



“There’s a relationship between me and painting, where the surface, texture, and especially the color speaks to me in a language that’s not verbal. Sometimes I don’t understand. Sometimes I do, and when I do, I feel joy because we understand each other. It’s like meeting someone who speaks another language. You use what you have to communicate, and that’s what I do.  Texture on canvas is a new language for me. When we start to understand each other, it’s going to be great!”



“Interpretation to me is key. Most people like to hear praise about their work, but for me I really like to hear what people think it means, how it makes them feel, or what they see in my paintings. I like to paint something and then let someone name it. By doing that, I get a chance to become closer to my audience and what drives them. I like to see a light come on inside someone’s head even if it is a negative light. Having a no comment or no reaction is the worst thing that any artist can endure. I’d prefer not to title my work; but unfortunately people prefer the artist to title the painting. Otherwise, it loses its value. To me, the value comes from the viewers’ perspective.”



“There is no right or wrong, just a soft breathing of life.”



“I have preferences for color combinations that some people, especially the fundamentalists in the art world, find repulsive. These uneducated combinations are like ‘blasphemy’ in art. I had an artist friend who said I should learn about colors and how to use them. I thought it was a great idea, but I never got started. I was afraid that I would become ‘educated’ and lose my virginity. I still make mistakes and mix ‘mud’.  I know if I went to school and learned about my craft, I could zip through this journey.  I could eliminate most of my mistakes and start producing art that would appeal to the masses; but then, I fear I would lose my identity.  My color combinations and mixing is nothing more than intuitive and all me. That’s why I call myself an Outsider Artist.  I’m outside of the rules, and that feels right to me.”



“Here in Taiwan I am mostly quietly and politely ignored. This country likes its traditions. Most of the art here is watercolors of nature and very traditional. There was a postal worker who wanted to buy some of my paintings. He learned that all those packages I was mailing out to ebay buyers all the time were paintings. He had never seen my work but asked, ‘When can I see some of your landscapes?’ I laughed and said, ‘I don’t do landscapes.’”



“I usually look into the paint and find my subjects to paint. I see faces in the paint, and I simply bring them out for others to see. After awhile, I move on. It’s not a love affair that I have with my paintings; it’s a story. I spend time on each paragraph and then move on.”





Further Notes:

Ken Law Outsider Artist (Ken Freeman):



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