Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), a French painter and sculptor, invented the word Art Brut, which means ‘Rough Art’ or ‘Raw Art.’ ‘Outsider Art’ is the English synonym for Art Brut, devised by an art critic Roger Cardinal, in 1972. Jean was an avant-garde painter, who departed from the painting world for 17 years, from 1925 to 1942. Upon Jean’s return to painting, his focus and painting style had changed into one of the simple and prehistoric images. He switched his focus towards art drawn by children, the insane, and schizophrenics.
The term Art Brut is used in a board sense. This creative Western Art form is beyond the boundaries and the rules of traditional or mainstream artistry. This art form is raw and pure. Art Brut artists have no influence of cultural complexities and art institutions. Their artwork is totally different and independent of the mainstream art form, such as drawings, paintings, sculptures, and the other outdoor creations. In effect, artists with no formal training or Naive artists create Outside Art and are categorized as a separate niche genre.
The main advantage of raw art is that it is ahead of the hierarchical and the historical horizons of mainstream art. It is attractive, appealing, and fascinating. These artists are original and have unconventional, innovative, and creative ideas, as they do not modify, alter, and mediate the unique creative expressions. These artists select enigmatic topics, and are least concerned about the good opinion of others. In addition, Art Brut artists live and work forthright. They do not even believe in keeping their work a secret.
Art Brut includes nearly all the art forms, such as Folk Art, Tramp Art, and Primitive Art. In fact, Raw Art, Folk Art, Intuitive/Visionary Art, Marginal/Singuiler Art, Naive Art, Neue Invention, and Visionary Environments are interchangeable terms in Outsider Art.
Fame comes with smart marketing, publicity, and a good platform. Art Brut lacks all this, as the artists are creating things for their own, personal pleasure. Therefore, art connoisseurs and art collectors have always been skeptical about raw art, due to its limitless scope. There is often a prevalent intrigue about the uniqueness and the worth of Art Burt. Art lovers are also left wondering regarding the levels of creativity an untrained mind can have. Despite all these arguments and question marks raw art grew, and is widely practiced today.
Art Brut Examples
There are numerous notable raw art or Outsider Artists, who have contributed towards this art form, such as Adolf Wolfli – a Swiss artist; Nek Chand – an Indian, who achieved high reputation for his sculpture garden called ‘Rock Garden;’ Ferdinand Cheval – a postal worker in Hauterives, was motivated by his dream, and spent around 33 years in constructing ‘Palais Ideal.’
Raw art is the visual formation at its best. It is an impulsive spiritual flow from brain to paper. In 1991, ‘Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art’ was formed in Chicago. The organization is dedicated to Art Brut. Its non-profit museum that helps the Outsider Artists research, exhibit, and promote their art. Henry Darger, Joseph Yoakum, Lee Godie, William Dawson, David Philpot, and Wesley Willis are some of the key Brut Artists associated with Intuit.