Like Gauguin, Dubuffet started out as an unlikely candidate to be anything at all in the art world. He was born in Le Havre, France in 1901; his father was a prosperous Le Havre wine merchant. Dubuffet tried painting for a while, then gave it up in disgust because he decided he was only imitating his Paris friends, Suzanne Valadon, Raoul Dufy and Fernand Leger.
He went back to selling wine, got "a wife, furniture, a maid, a brother-in-law, a car, kids." One day before World War II he started to paint again. His wife left him, and the brother-in-law, too. For the next few years, he worked the back streets of Paris, painting little bistros and corset shops, jazz combos, a
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