Jean Dubuffet is one of the most influential French painters of the 20th century. Interested in fine arts while at school in Le Havre, Dubuffet moved to Paris in 1918 to attend courses at the ‘Académie Julian'. After his service in the military in 1925, he tried his hand as a wine merchant, however, this in 1933 he returned to painting for a temporary period. Finally in 1942, he came to the conclusion to dedicate his life and work to art.
Dubuffet’s intelligence, openness and readiness to take risks allowed for him to become greatly versatile. This led him to never continuing with his achievements but to create something new. He had two major contributions to the art world: the first is his recognition of “Art Brut” or “raw art” which recognized non-professionally trained artists who often ignored intellectual artistic norms and painted from their conscience. Much of his work reflects his attraction to child and mentally ill art through his simplistic and childlike manners of painting with bright colors. This style has been favored by many and has been used as tools in psychology and mental development studies.
His insistence on the real led him to combine his oil based paints with other materials such as sand and straw to give his paintings additional texture. Dubuffet became occupied with primitive, savage and native art forms. He believed that art was a primordial experience that was simple and organic striving to make a universal art.