European Art

Guy Buffet

France, b. 1943


Guy Buffet was born in Paris, France in the district of Montparnasse on January 13, 1943. His father, Jules Cesar Buffet, was sixty five years old at the time and due to the war, was still employed far beyond his normal retirement age as the postmaster of the district. During Guy’s early youth, his father loved to take his son for walks in the district and show him famous landmarks such as the La Coupole Restaurant, where famous artists like Picasso, Chagall, Braque and Foujita would spend many of their days and evenings. He walked his young son past their homes and those artists became the heroes of Guy’s youth, marking the beginning of his lifetime interest in the world of art.

When Guy was twelve years old, he lost his elderly father and two years later, moved with his mother to the south of France to a beautiful little fishing harbor called Sanary, not far from Saint Tropéz. Soon after, he left his conventional school to enroll in the Beaux Arts School of Toulon in order to study art full time. Guy loved that school under the bright sun of Provence. Most of his teachers were professional artists of the School of Provence. Their pallets of bright colors and canvases depicted pure joy and love of life and this became quite contagious to the young and impressionable Buffet.

While attending school, Guy met a delightful lady who happened to be the mother of the Chief of Staff of the French Navy. This event would change his life forever, for the Admiral was also a passionate artist and it wasn’t long before a strong bond united the two. The young artist giving tips on painting and the Admiral giving precious advice to a young boy in need of a father, the Admiral suggested to Guy that he would make a good sailor by joining the French Navy.

Guy has traveled the world over again and again since his Navy days. He has derived from his French heritage, inspiration for his most recognized images of whimsical sommeliers, chefs and waiters in hilarious character, consistently capturing the spirit of the French and their love of fine food and wine. Italy, Amsterdam, China, the South Pacific, the United States and many other lands and their people have been the subjects of Guy’s popular art. Throughout his career, Guy has been commissioned by many corporations such as Aloha Airlines, Champagne Perrier-Jouët, Williams-Sonoma, InterContinental Hotels, Crystal Cruises, Duty Free Shops and many more. His work now appears on myriad of products such as plates, clothing, greeting cards, books and calendars as well as highly sought after limited edition works. He even has his own wine label, Guy Buffet Cellars… most appropriate for our ‘bon vivant ’ French-American artist known and loved by many.

Guy currently spends his time between his homes on Maui, in Paris and in St. Jean Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera, often stealing away to some far away island for yet another dose of quiet inspiration.