Artist as Outlaw Day is observed yearly on January 19 It is a day to honour subversive artists, those who defy the status quo and speak truth to power regardless of the odds. Artists have long been regarded as marginal members of society. Obviously, there are well-known pop singers who say things that are acceptable to those in authority. There are other artists whose works are recognised for posing a challenge to the way society functions and demanding a change. On Artist as Outlaw Day, we salute these artists and their works.
HISTORY OF ARTIST AS OUTLAW DAY
Artists and criminals have been compared for a long time, and there are many similarities between them. Outlaws and artists have traditionally been viewed as isolated individuals who exist outside the norms of society. They can never fit into cookie-cutter middle-class communities, and they challenge the law throughout their lives.
America has always been captivated by its outlaws, an integral aspect of the Wild West’s legend. We have all enjoyed stories about lawbreakers with golden hearts, those who did not fit into society’s predetermined categories and were forced to break the law to survive. Many artists are comparable. They contest the way people live and refuse to do so themselves. By refusing to follow society’s standards, they embody a type of freedom that most people can only imagine. Typically, as people age, criminals and creatives change their ways. While the concept of being an underground artist is romantic, the reality is challenging. Artists and outlaws either learn to slow down or perish young.
Artists who live as outlaws are always under government investigation and on their governments’ watch lists. They cannot play it safe like popular artists, nor can they go mainstream, because they cannot or are incapable of doing so. These are the artists who introduce major changes to people’s life philosophies and ways of thinking. Artists like Banksy require anonymity to protect their livelihoods, despite the fact that their artworks alter the way others perceive the world.
ARTIST AS OUTLAW DAY DATES