How does knowledge of an artist’s mental disability affect the viewer’s interpretation of their artwork? This thesis examines the marketing power of the public fantasy of artistic madness in the field of outsider art. The discourses surrounding Martin Ramirez and Judith Scott, two critically and financially successful outsider artists with highly disparate medical conditions and art practices, bear traces of the interpretive formula plaguing the category. This formula capitalizes on romantic mythologies of the mentally disabled: It valorizes the artists’ diagnoses, postures them as unaware of themselves as artists, and positions them as a completely original and isolated alternative to mainstream art. Despite the wide range of ethical and critical investments in outsider art, these disempowering and homogenizing constructions remain embedded in its discourse, sustained by the desire and fascination of eager consumers.