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Self Taught

Self Taught

Tim Kerr

Don Giovanni Records

Skater, guitarist, photographer, and artist Tim Kerr has been producing artwork and championing self-expression for decades. From his pioneering work in punk/funk band Big Boys to his murals and paintings celebrating civil rights icons and musicians, Kerr has constantly encouraged the common person to be more than a bystander, to actively explore and create.

It seems only natural that Kerr would be drawn to folk/outsider artists—untrained artists with a desire to create and display their works through a variety of media.

In his newest book Self Taught, Kerr documents a wide range of these outsider artists, from more well-known works and artists (Howard Finster, Coral Castle, the Watts Towers), to relatively unknown artists.

Over a ten-year period, Kerr and his wife Beth documented these artistic sites across America with a variety of thrift store cameras. The different cameras fit in perfectly with the art environments—maybe a photograph looks overexposed or washed out but it complements the work perfectly, valuing expression over craftsmanship.

These photographs are paired with Kerr’s paintings of the creators. While Kerr holds a degree in painting, his paintings display a sense of the folk artist—vibrantly colored, with strong lines and a quote from the artist, any one of which could stand as the book’s motto.

Self Taught is a remarkable book, celebrating the artistic spirit in all of us. As Kerr says in his final painting, “Document it all. Tell your story.”


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