...I have had a great deal of discussion and debate on the subject of self taught African American artists VS Art School or College Educated Artists. Let me say first that there is no real debate between the two. On Public Media or in person, the Self taught Artist touts God Given Talent, Natural Ability, the notion of being uncontaminated, un indoctrinated or free of Racial Identity to European / American Values. Education is a counter Mansion like Ignorance...Personal opinion is highly over rated and we live in a society where Free Thinking in it's positive and negative forms are rampant. This is what I call the "Ice Age"...funny that of all the many levels and types of ART that is produced today, everyone seems to think that their version is the truth - especially if it is self taught.
***ART*** is a TERM...
...it is 100% General and customized in meaning in the popular Stream of thought.
In Fine Art which is the Global Based Field of Creativity,
Education and Business, Art is the whole field of Art Industry.
***Genre*** is what defines the general that many claim as ART.
When I am talking to a Self Taught Artist their definition of Art is almost always personal expression...
and Protestful as if their is some grain to be measured against that they have issues with. Art the term is more than Personal Expression. IMO what is most needed by self taught artists is Critique and Art Theory applied to African American Culture.
What many Hobbyists, casual painters and practiced home educated artists are not connected with is the Established Culture Industry. They either paint for recognition or income...the Great wide Sea is the Internet. I'm on the internet, but as a Veteran Muti Genre Artist, My Studio Education, Career beginning and practice is Pre Computer.
I hope that Artists who have a need to express themselves or make money would also have the astuteness to acknowledge that no one today is self taught. You may have been the one who decided what you looked at for influence...but those people studied and your observation of their work and what you learn is a product of Art Education whether in School or privately.