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Scholars have begun to recognize and acknowledge the differences between white and African American artists lumped together in the category “outsider.” Artists such as Taplet, though self-taught, often work within recognizable cultural traditions and are only outsiders to a society that consciously excludes them. Many self-taught white artists live outside mainstream society by choice or due to their genuine eccentricity. Howard Finster’s biography and popular culture’s embrace of his creativity is well known. Here he wrties:

I never had a wreck or a ticket or been put in jail. I never been drunk.
All I ask the world is to live like me,
so we can close all prisons and throw away the key.
Close all jails. God bless.

Unfortunately, not everyone who drives safely manages to avoid arrest.

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