Naïve art refers to the work of someone with no formal art school education. It is characterised by a simple unsophisticated childlike composition and execution. It is valued by modern artists for its purity, simplicity and its opposition to the traditional art system.
Naïve art does not obey what are seen as the formal qualities of painting in particular the rules of the perspective. Objects in Naïve art can appear flattened onto the surface of the canvas and their size may not be acurate to that of real life, or proportional to things around them.
Naïve artists include Henri Rousseau who held down a full time job throughout his painting career and the St Ives fisherman Alfred Wallis who painted on any objects he found in his house. Other artists who’s work in considered Naïve are L. S. Lowry and Edward Hicks.
Naïve art is now represented in art galleries worldwide. It is also linked to primitive art which again sees modern artists such as Pablo Picasso adopting the styles of so called primitive art or folk art that does not have the same history or rules as the western art world. Art produced by classically trained artists but in a naïve style is sometimes referred to as faux Naïve art.