This chapter turns to the creative work of Arthur Bispo do Rosário, Brazil’s most famous “outsider artist.” The author addresses what it means to respect the rights of the mad when approaching their work through the lens of contemporary art. Unlike the other Brazilian patients considered in this study, Bispo’s work was legitimated as art after his death. The chapter engages Frederico Morais’s publication Arthur Bispo do Rosário: Arte além da loucura (Arthur Bispo do Rosário: Art beyond madness, 2013) as well as this curator’s key role in Bispo’s canonization into contemporary art. The author probes whether an insistence on Bispo’s work as contemporary art in the end abandons one type of epistemic control (psychiatry) to inscribe the work within another: a timeless aesthetic formalism to which the patient never laid claim.
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