Art is either plagiarism or revolution - (Paul Gauguin French painter)

Impressionist Paul Gauguin turned to painting after working as a stockbroker

Gauguin was a painter that had a major influence in the shaping of modern and avant-garde art. He was also a printmaker, draftsman, sculptor, woodworker, ceramist and writer. Unappreciated until after his death, he is now recognized for his bold use of color and stark contrasts, he sought to achieve a primeval expression of spiritual and emotional awareness in his work. 
He also paved
the way to the appreciation of primitivism, as his paintings engaged many of the simplistic techniques used by unstudied artists. His bold examination of color led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art, where form and color are equally important. Himself influenced by folk art and Japanese prints, Gauguin's style evolved into bold, flat forms and dark contours, exaggerated body proportions, totems, geometric design and high contrast. He also helped shape the Fauvism, Cubism and Orphism art movements.
After an unimpressive military career, Gauguin worked successfully as a stockbroker for over 10 years with active dealings in the art community until the Paris stock market crash of 1882 caused a sharp deterioration of his earnings sending him into painting full time.
Gauguin spent much time on the Caribbean island of Martinique in 1887, documenting the simple lifestyle of the native people producing between 10 to 20 works during that time. These works were brightly colored, loosely painted scenes. During this time, he became associated with a small community of Indian immigrants, a contact that would later influence his art with the inclusion of Indian symbols. This time had a strong impact on Gauguin, as he would include figures and scenes of rural and indigenous cultures in his work long after he left the island.
The Martinique paintings were exhibited, seen and admired by many including painter, Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, art patron, Theo (who bought 3), he and Vincent becoming friends. Theo sponsored a nine week painting excursion for the pair at Vincent's famous Yellow House in Arles. Their relationship was fraught with issues, Vincent's obsession with Gauguin caused him to leave on December 23, 1888 after Van Gogh accosted him with a razor blade. According to Gauguin, later that same evening Van Gogh cut off his ear, wrapped it in a newspaper, and gave it to a woman who worked at a brothel they both frequented. He instructed her to "keep this object carefully in remembrance of me." Van Gogh was hospitalized and Gauguin left the next day. Although they never met again, they continued to correspond for some time afterwards.
In the late 1890's Gauguin, disillusioned with France's civilized excess, everything artificial and conventional, left France for the last time, and went to Tahiti for a new experiment in the Tropics. The trip was not as inspirational as Martinique, creating disappointment for him as Tahiti was already influenced by French and European culture, making the ability to afford the pleasure-seeking lifestyle difficult, as well as some earlier work not well received. He moved into a native bamboo hut and set up his studio where for the first year he focused on woodworking and sculpting. He stayed for six years, creating paintings of Tahitian life, his most well known to date.