Karel Appel was born in 1921 in Amsterdam. He is one of the founders of the CoBrA, an avant-garde art group founded in November 1948. The group was short-lived and disintegrated in November 1951, but it stimulated a refreshing, experimental spirit in the art world at the time, liberating contemporary European artistic traditions from over emphasizing form and rationality. Instead, the group embraced spontaneous paint, which had an effect on the rise of individual styles such as abstract and action painting in the 1950s. From 1940 to 1943, Appel studied at the Amsterdam State Academy. After World War II, he infused children’s drawing styles with his own, and held his first solo exhibition at Groningen, Netherlands in 1946. In 1949, along with his friends Beverloo Corneille and Consant, he held the first major exhibit of the CoBrA movement at the Amsterdam Museum of Art. The inspiration for Appel’s work is diverse, ranging from fantastic monsters, animals, to people. He also experimented with textured sculptures. In 1950, he moved to Paris. Appel won numerous awards, including the UNESCO award in the 1954 Venice Biennale, first prize in the 1959 Sao Paulo Art Biennia, and the Guggenheim International Award in 1960.