Ben Vautier (French artist)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Ben Vautier (born on July 18 1935 in Naples, Italy), also known simply as Ben, is a French artist.

He lives and works in Nice, where he ran a record shop when he was young. He discovered Yves Klein and the Nouveau Réalisme in the 1950s, but he became quickly interested in the French dada artist Marcel Duchamp, the music of John Cage and all the Fluxus artistic movement in the 1960s. He is also active in Mail-Art and is mostly known for his text-based paintings; an example of the latter is his work "L'art est inutile. Rentrez chez vous" (Art is Useless, Go Home).

He has long defended the rights of minorities in all countries, and he has been influenced by the theories of François Fontan about ethnism. For example, he has defended the Occitan language (south of France), which is on the verge of extinction because speakers are shifting to French.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ben Vautier (French artist)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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