Have you ever looked at a painting and said: “this looks like a child painted it”? Would you be even more confused to see Paul Klee or Henri Rousseau sign that kind of artwork? The truth is that these artists belong to two actual artistic ideologies, called faux naïf and naïve art respectively, both of which had a sole purpose of depicting childlike simplicity and frankness. The difference, however, between these entities is that, while naïve art usually refers to works made by individuals with no formal training in an art school or academy, faux naif, as you might guess from the French term, was created by trained creatives, who nevertheless wanted to escape the insincere sophistication created within the traditional system of the arts and imitate the unaffected, authentic experience of our world – very much like the one seen in artworks by children or people with mental disorders. As a result, their paintings and drawings are “falsely naïve” and as such are often put in the same category as Primitive and Art brut, while they could all be categorized under the realm of Outsider art.

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