Jean Dubuffet's art is distinguished by a defiant stance against conventional ideas of elite culture, aesthetics, and refined sensibilities. He championed "instinct, passion, emotion, intensity, and irrationality" over logical analysis and rationality.
Jean Dubuffet’s work is marked by a rebellious attitude toward prevailing notions of high culture, beauty and good taste.
Though he was an academically trained painter from a bourgeois family, Dubuffet maintained what he called in a 1951 lecture an “anticultural position.” He advocated for “instinct, passion, mood, violence, and madness” rather than analysis and reason, as well as closer proximity to nature/natural forms and the discarding of traditional notions of beauty. “Look at what lies at your feet!” he once said. “A crack in the ground, sparkling gravel, a tuft of grass, and some crushed debris offer equally worthy subjects for your applause and admiration.” Such values were embodied in what Dubuffet termed art brut (or raw art), produced on the margins by children, outsider and folk artists, and the mentally ill.