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Artist Jean Dubuffet

Updated on January 31, 2014

Painter and Sculptor

What I LOVE about Jean Dubuffet was his tenacity. He may have quit a few times but he went back to his love, he went back to art. It is easy to just give up and decide we just can't do something because it is hard or because a few roadblocks have come up along the way. It takes a strong person, a person you may not have been aware existed inside you even, to get back up and start again. A lot of times we find out what we are made of in times of trouble. What a gift that is! It explains a lot to us about our own selves to know that we had strength we were not even aware of. Thus the life of an artist, this artist Jean Dubuffet, tells us of a man who found his strength and revealed it in his art. It takes fortitude and dedication to become a great artist. Despite what some claim you are not just born with it, no only the sapling tree of talent, that then must be nurtured to reveal what exists in the human spirit. Take a lesson from Jean Dubuffet, I certainly will, time is a wasting to live your dreams, so do it.. right now.




Jean Dubuffet Quotes

There is no art without intoxication. But I mean a mad intoxication! Let reason teeter! Delirium! The highest degree of delirium! Plunged in burning dementia! Art is the most enrapturing orgy within man's reach.. Art must make you laugh a little and make you a little afraid. Anything as long as it doesn't bore

What I expect from any work of art is that it surprises me, that it violates my customary valuations of things and offers me other, unexpected ones.

Art doesn't go to sleep in the bed made for it. It would sooner run away than say its own name: what it likes is to be incognito. Its best moments are when it forgets what its own name is.

Personally, I believe very much in values of savagery. I mean: instinct, passion, mood, violence, madness.

We intend with these works executed by those unscathed by artistic culture, in which, the mimesis has little role in the way that the artist draws everything (subject, choice of material, the creative process, ways of expressing an idea, rhythms, etc) from their own depths and, unlike intellectuals, not from the convensions of classical or fashionable art.

For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.

We participate in an artistic process which is completely pure, raw, entirely reinvented in all of its phases by the artist, from his impulses alone. Therefore, of an art which manifests itself through the function of invention only, and not those, constant in cultural art, of cameleon and monkey.

Jean Dubuffet.

Sometimes Life Does Not Go As Planned

by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

That sure man


traveling the hillside

traveling his mind

and being a god spy.

He was the kinder soul

of some I've known

who delivered all he knew

all his books

inspiration felt

from horizons


of what he said were divine

revealed to him.

Who can say

no one has the right to take

a miracle


We all look for visions

hope for them

hope that we will see beyond


higher than the sky

can sing.

Through misty eyes

we embrace the stars


babies born

miracles of life

and try to define them.

Yet in his life of settling ideas

within his own self

the knife that cut the heart out of me

wounded him too

causing ideas to be questioned

and muted.

Two people to this story

or a thousand times ten

fore who would have ever thought

that such circumstances

beyond anyones horizon

would unravel

to such an un-redeeming end?

He cannot anger me

no not now

for he only reflected

on the other heartbeats




if he ever understood anything at all

bleeding now


He walked among them

wanting to be heard by them

clowns spaces

yawning faces

he thought he knew something

to tell them

but oh

his eyes did not see everything

and sadly now

thinking back

maybe nothing

at all.

How lonely are the archives

of our souls now

once so well defined

and plotted out

lost between the lines

never spoken.

Other perspectives

boasted on

other eyes

seeing everything

the days just felt stormy

too bad we didn't

see the signs.

Sure of himself man

I wonder about him sometimes

if he was as broken as me

or if he ever really understood

those lost dreams

as they passed by.

Sometimes I hold my box of ribbons

reflect on all those mistakes


the costs and every part of ourselves

taken out

and reflect upon

by my own judgment


as much

reprisal as he

and our unsuspecting


ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz:

My newest website:

The pic is of my sculpture "Bleeding Wings 5" found on my website


"The Blue Wall" by Jean Dubuffet

"The Blue Wall" by Jean Dubuffet
"The Blue Wall" by Jean Dubuffet

The Blue Wall

The Blue Wall (1967), part of the Renault Collection,was painted with polyurethane on polyester.

Finding My Own Eyes Past Your Superstitions

by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

Dubuffet was known for his tenacity.. it is a lesson to us all. Don't let anything stop you from reaching your dreams!

There are people who come into our lives, like it or not, they make an impact on us. We can look past their words, their own conclusions about themselves and realize we may have some of the answers we have been looking for on our own.

So I, am on that eternal search of...

"Finding My Own Eyes"

You think that you know everything

but your face

postpones the day.

Hidden behind shadows

of restless beings

of midnight scrapings

of an eminent



What are the chances

of a brighter future here?

A cyclone

could not interrupt such a future

not according to you.

Your face

your eyes

know everything

or at least that's what



Contemplate the hour

design the art of superstition

If I wield around

these foretold measures

will you let me live?


You curse the smile

your jealously

is so easily provoked.

If I were to exclude

such transparent conspiring

I would never know.

Your face

your eyes

see everything

or so they say.

Ohh all those little heartbeats

of adoration

seated in their rows

books to hold

marked up with what you've told them.

Its so transparent

and empty


Funny how jealously taints

even a cloudy day.

You looked around and lusted for them.

I'm sure you still do.

Using unmeasured words

yet so very certain

that every syllable

counted breath

though unkind

sets afloat



Oh hero

if we could only be like you


For your eyes

see everything?

Oh all those empty words

of your own

determined worth.

Oh hero

you've never had a clue.

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz:

My newest website:

The pic is of my sculpture "Bleeding Wings 5" found on my website

Edith Piaf- YouTube vids

Jean Dubuffet - Struggle For a New Idiom in Modernist Art by Annette Lebedzki - "Affluence" by Jean Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet belongs to the category of neo-modernist artists of Paris Schools, who were pushed towards art, by a striking combination of fate and pragmatism.

8ft by 20ft panoramas on three walls by Jean Dubuffet

8ft by 20ft panoramas on three walls by Jean Dubuffet
8ft by 20ft panoramas on three walls by Jean Dubuffet

What is Abstract Art? One Artist's Point of View by Tim Seaward

So many people must be asking this question all the time... and not getting satifactory answers because I keep seeing articles on the subject.

So, to add to the mix, I thought that, because I am an Abstract Artist, I would give my answer.

First lets see what the official version has to say. The second definition of "abstract" in the Concise Oxford Dictionary says "Idealistic, not practical; abstruse; (Art etc.) free from representational qualities" And it is this last description I want to look at.

That which is free from representational qualities is a picture (or other type of art discipline) that does not depict any recognisable image such as a figure, building, or sky. There is no purposeful reference to anything physically particular.

Jackson Pollock, for instance, was one of the first abstract artists and produced the finest of examples... do a google search for his drip work then choose one. If you study the image closely it will soon become apparent that he randomly dripped paint onto a board laying flat on the floor. And if you read up a bit about him you will find that he even suspended paint-filled cans above a board, punched holes in the bottom of the can, and allowed the cans to swing, or be nudged, the paint slowly dripping to give a totally no-representative image. The important thing to remember here is that he had no intention of producing any kind likeness to anything physical whatsoever. So this style of art is truly an abstract work.

The difficulty comes when a piece of art is produced in a very loose and, even, child like way. Some might regard it as abstract. Here is an example of what I believe is NOT abstract art: go to then on the left side click on "Artisti Ceris" then click "D" go to the fourth name from the bottom "Jean Dubuffet" and click "Art Brut" there you will find three images of his work... each one depicts roughly painted figures and faces, and although the left hand image looks like imageless lines I do believe there are faces to be seen there (Don't get me wrong - Jean Dubuffet produced many abstract works... in fact that is what he was most famous for... it's just that these examples are not).

Some might call these Dubuffet paintings semi-abstract - but I do not. For me there is no such thing - either the picture does not represent anything... or it does - no matter how basic.

Another puzzle might be the later works of Mark Rothko. Some might argue that a basic rectangular shape could be regarded as a representational image. But you need to read about his life and philosophy to understand that he was not painting rectangles but what has become known as colour fields. The scale of his massive works and the fact that he gave up even titling his pieces should dispel any possibility of his work being anything other than the purer form of abstract art.

I would like to finish with one of my own enigmatic examples: in which I have sort to "portray" the idea of deep or spiritual movement. Such an explanation is, of course, dangerous in that I have used words like "portray", "spiritual" and "movement" - all of these have associations... but not necessarily physical ones! It is my belief that there is a relationship to be had with my spirit... and it is the purist form of abstraction. You can find out more about that in my blog on my website.

The only other thing to say here is that the abstract artist is seeking to put on canvas such non-figurative "imagery" as emotion, thought, the greater self, anarchy, and total randomness... to name but a few. And I intend to examine these "non-figures" in a bit more detail in my articles starting with "How to produce an abstract image - Part 2" You will be very welcome to come along and read it!

Tim Seaward is the author of "What is Abstract Art? One artists point of view". He is also a practicing fine artist living and working in the UK. Visit his site to find out exactly what he paints. or mailto:

Article Source:

The image is of Jean Dubuffet of course.


Group of Four Trees by Jean Dubuffet on One Chase Manhattan Plaza, NY.

Group of Four Trees by Jean Dubuffet on One Chase Manhattan Plaza, NY.
Group of Four Trees by Jean Dubuffet on One Chase Manhattan Plaza, NY.

What do you think of Jean Dubuffet?

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Jean Dubuffet UTubes

"I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Music Without Lyrics - Wedding Toasts for the Foolish" - by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

"Bleeding Wings 5" ~detail~ by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
"Bleeding Wings 5" ~detail~ by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

"I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Music Without Lyrics - Wedding Toasts for the Foolish"

Dark wanderers flooding the night

Celtic tattoos pasted on the moon

dark poetry looming the skyline

looking for free recipes

for dreaming.

I will follow you into the dark

music without lyrics

wedding toasts for the foolish

of folly

whenever you call me.

Angels and airwaves

ancient healing

finding their way to me

despite my loss of

internal exploration at times

my heart does beat for their caresses.

Give me ultimate pleasure

or little tunes of hope

free games

or a Potter Trailer

from Autumn to ashes

so flowers can sing

I will follow you into the dark.

Nothing is so soothing

as whispers in the dark

saying we'll be fine.

Dark Fairy

elusive blossom

brings me printable gifts

and unique birdhouses

pictures of kittens

cats adorned with jeweled collars

kitty beds with pink ribbons.

Isn't that a fairies duty?

Making sure the flowers are content

not held captive

so fairy tales come alive?

Gifts on our back porch

despite the odds of feeling neglected

whenever my name is forgotten?

Fantasy fairies meet the darkness


as they find out who their friends are

secret friends

meeting fantasy art of exotic women

while forever pretending

only to be within docile pages

of the tattered book left on the table.

Dark Fairy

a queen between the lines

let out of page 765.

Despite my attempts to draw her in

unafraid to meet the present

laced by melodies

a musician's friend

Dark Fairy steadied her eyes on prizes.

Strong for mere determinations sake

she rises to meet her buried pride.

Everyone knows she says


all who become wild women will one day be

female super heroes.

And with that printed inside her book of tales

she met the flowers ransom.

by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

17 April 2009

Copyright 2009

The image is detail of my sculpture "Bleeding Wings 5"


ARE YOU TENACIOUS? not easily dispelled or discouraged - persisting in existence or in a course of action

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The Most Important Thing? This is LIFE TAKE ONE.. so LIVE IT!

Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves...

Shout Out For Jean Dubuffet and say HI TO ME!

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I enjoy reading this lens, great work! Squidlike

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing more art. Your lens helps me learn more about art and I love it! Thanks for this wonderful lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting lens, well done!

    • hippiechicjewelz profile image


      7 years ago

      Amazing abstract art! WOW! What an inspiring lens, this was a great read! Thank you for introducing me to the art of Jean Dubuffet!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you for sharing this introduction to a painter I didn't know about. I always enjoy your poetry too. My husband writes poetry but I'm not very gifted in that area. Angel blessed!

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 

      7 years ago

      I love your pages about fellow artists Kathy. They are always filled with poetry and beautiful imagery. I especially like reviewing this today as you double your points for a 'like', so since I am a Giant that means 20 points, I hope, for you. We all want to 'level up' with Squidoo, and I hope that this helps. Besides, I like to come and see your avatar with your hair in slight disarray making you look so incredibly sexy!;~) I mean no derision or disrespect in stating this, just the facts ma'am.:~) I really enjoyed this and I will be looking at a few more today as time permits, just for the pleasure of reading something I truly enjoy! Loving you forever, Happy Leap Day to you and your Man. See you around the galaxy...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love wonderful art of Jean Dubuffet, too.. dear lady :) Another gorgeous work that I love. Have wonderful times.. always.. dear lady Kathy :D

    • sousababy profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for the education about Jean Dubuffet. Great work here.

    • sponias lm profile image

      sponias lm 

      7 years ago

      I love surrealism. Jean Dubufetts art is impressing! This lens was blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Kathy it is time for me to go to bed now Australian remember but I thought I would just come over and get some inspiring before I hit the sack, I can't wait until you do the articule on working with mixed media unless I have missed it. I remember in Australia when the Australian Government bought a Jackson Pollock painting and it cause quite a controversy, people now don't feel the same but it does make me smile. I loved it of course but at that time people were furious because they thought it was the waste of taxpayers money, the painting is now worth much more than what the Government paid so it is all very quite now, loved this articule and I didn't know a lot about Jean, but I do now

    • verymary profile image


      7 years ago from Chicago area

      as a Chicagoan I've walked by the Standing Beast sculpture many times! it is so cool!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      8 years ago

      winging back to share some squidangel *blessings*.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      8 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Another amazing lens. Thanks for introducing one more great artist.

    • Shorebirdie profile image


      8 years ago from San Diego, CA

      This is the first time I've seen his work. Thanks for introducing me to him. Nice poetry and music, too.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      8 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Thanks for the introduction to this artist!

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 

      8 years ago from Rome, Italy

      have always loved his paintings...

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      8 years ago

      Came back to give this page a Blessing, thanks for sharing again!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I played around as a kid in one of his big sculptures in a museum in Holland, A brilliant artist with a playfull mind. Love his work and use it often for giving art classes. wonderful lens and poems too.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      8 years ago

      thank you for introducing jean dubuffet. his sculpure his really imposing just like your maiden sculpture with never-ending tresses.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like to be surprised and stretched a little too. As usual, you prepared a feast once again and so grateful Jean Dubuffet kept returning, he had to!

    • spartakct profile image


      8 years ago

      cool lens!

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      8 years ago

      a true visionary

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing on squidoo. Pls PRAY FOR JAPAN for Noble Cause

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      Very enjoyable. I did not know very much about Jean Dubuffet or his art. Edith Piaf was a nice touch too.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      9 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I had never heard of this artist before. Thanks for the informative lens.


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