Paintings of the Week

Here are two examples of ‘art brut’ from Swiss artist Adolf Wolfi. 

Art brut is a concept coined by the French artist Jean Dubuffet, and is sometimes called ‘naive art’ or ‘outsider art’. It’s used about artists who are untrained, sometimes uneducated; artists who don’t belong to the mainstream of art but have access to a rare creative vision.

Dubuffet collected many examples of art brut; and he was particularly interested in art created by inmates of psychiatric hospitals. ‘Mad art’, if I can be so politically incorrect.

And that’s where Wolfi comes in.  He was physically and sexually abused as a child and spent his childhood in a variety of foster homes. As an adult, he was convicted of sexual molestation, and was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland; and spent his entire life behind bars. He was psychotic, and violent, suffered hallucinations; and he created some amazing pieces.

Wolfi reminds me eerily of the Joker in Arkham Asylum; deranged, and evil, but talented.

General View of the Island

Irren Anstalt Band Hain

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