What is Naïf Art?

The spontaneous desire to draw and paint exists since the origins of human civilization, of which “cave paintings” are a first example.

The term Naïf Art was used for the first time at the turn of the 19th century, to describe the painting of Henri Rousseau, a self-taught painter admired by the artistic “avant-garde” of the time, which included geniuses such as Picasso, Matisse and Paul Gauguin, among others.

With this origin, Naïf Art began to state itself as a current which approaches artistic contexts in a spontaneous way, with total aesthetic and expressive freedom, and its followers define it today as “the art that is free of conventions”.

Naïf Art is conceived and produced by artist with no specific academic preparation, and without the “obligation” of having to use elaborate techniques and conventional thematic and chromatic approaches in the work they execute. This does not mean that they do not study and perfect, in a self-taught and experimental manner, the development of their works, and certainly does not imply that their quality is inferior. Artistic capacity is an innate gift in human beings, and there are no techniques, rules or dogmas that restrict its quality or withdraw its value, when it truly exists.

Naïf Art does not fit in the “Popular Art” genre either, differing from it in the sense that it represents an individual form of creation, that originates unique and original works.

It is generally characterized by an apparent simplicity and by the freedom of the author in relating and separating, as he well pleases, formal elements such as the inexistence of perspective, the unregulated composition, the unreality of the facts or the application shockingly colored palettes. Naïf Art also expresses a general sense of joy, happiness, spontaneity, and complex imaginary, and the mixture of these elements often results in an apparently unbalanced, but extremely suggestive form of beauty.

Some critics claim that, contrasting with the “academics” who paint with their “brain”, the “naïve” paint only with their “soul”. This seems to be the true essence of Naïf Art, clearly the style of those who were born with the gift of being artists…