Josef Wyler was born in 1965 in a village in the St Galler Rheintal in Switzerland to a sheltered family with a religious father. Josef had a difficult birth and suffered from epilepsy as a child. His early education was also problematic so that he was transferred to a special school for children with learning difficulties, where he stayed for 11 years until 1983. Here he was taught occupational skills, including that of a gardener, which he enjoyed.
At this time he returned to his parent's home, however in 1987 he had the first of many psychotic episodes, from which he suffers to this day. Since 2006 he has lived in a home for the aged, where although he is the youngest, he feels comfortable and accepted.
He has said that outsider art painting makes him feel better, it is easier for him to express his thoughts through painting rather than with words, and of course he always enjoys the complementary comments about his art