Picture Analysis

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Picture Analysis

Picture Analysis


Influenced by Hans Prinzhorn's book Artistry of the Mentally Ill, Dubuffet coined the term Art Brut (meaning "raw art," oftentimes referred to as 'outsider art') for art produced by nonprofessionals working outside aesthetic norms, such as art by psychiatric patients, prisoners, and children. He amassed his own collection of such art, including artists such as Aloïse Corbaz and Adolf Wolfli. The collection is now housed at the Musée de l'Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland. Dubuffet sought to create an art as free from intellectual concerns as Art Brut, and his work regularly appears primitive and child-like.

Discussion & Analysis

The lines in the painting make me experience a set of mixed emotions. At one hand, I feel that the painting depicts a form of happiness that is instilled in the combination of colors that the artist has used in the development of the picture. On the other hand, the painting brings the image of a drunk cowboy to mind. An individual who is filled with potential, but has lost control of his life and chooses to drink his sorrows away as he submits to denial. There is little doubt in the fact that the artist sought to challenge the degree to which an individual could challenge his imagination. In this regard, I think that the artist was successful in his objective. I also think that the artist wanted to highlight the manner in which there is a method to madness and a sequence in the most unorganized of scenarios. I find myself feeling extremely impressed and somewhat enamored by this characteristic of the picture.

The dark lines in the picture seem to be holding separate sections in place. They restrict the components of the picture to come together. I feel that they are the artist's rendition of the manner in which an individual is a set of characteristics (Dubuffet, Demetrion, Cooke, Planque & Schjeldahl, 1993). It is a bold approach, but I think the picture is of utmost importance in this regard. The artist has captured the essence of man. The artist has showed how man seeks joy and happiness as the general approach towards his life; while struggling to maintain a balance between his desires, ambitions, insecurities and other constituting characteristics. In this regard, the picture makes me feel somewhat sad.

I feel sad when I perceive this picture because I can see that the only thing that remains constant about man is the battle between the different characteristics that come together to constitute man's nature. I think that the artist has approached the man in a very captivating manner and I find it resentful that the fundamental basics of my existence rest on my inability to achieve perfection. I am reminded of the fact that the natural turbulence inside me disables me from functioning at a level that is my very best (Dubuffet, Roth & Roth, 1998). However, I consider it essential to highlight at this point that the thick outlines of the picture make me feel ...
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