Tinguely's idle machines are recognised worldwide as an allegory about the consumer and industrial society. For Jean Tinguely, the machine stood for humour and poetry. The many plastic wheels symbolise both wisdom and madness in one. Jean Tinguely (d. 1991) was a contemporary Swiss painter and sculptor and follower of the French Nouveau Réalisme art movement. Its members had set themselves the goal of eroding the lofty status of fine art and of using new techniques and materials to integrate the reality of everyday life into art.