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Michelangelo Pistoletto


Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in Biella in Italy in 1933. He became interested in art at an early age, during his training in the studio of his father, a painter and restorer in Turin. He continued his education at the school of graphic design, founded by Armando Testa. In 1955, he began developing the self-portrait, which led to the creation of his ‘Mirror Paintings’, that draw the viewer into the work. These initial forays lie at the basis of his artistic production and the theoretical reflection he has constructed throughout his career.

In the 1960s, Pistoletto also took an interest in waste materials, offering viewers the chance to question the consumer society they live in. He went onto create Minus Objects, which were fundamental to the birth of the Italian Arte Povera movement to which he belonged. In 1967, Pistoletto focused on group actions and performances outside the traditional institutions. He opened his own studio, Lo Zoo, where he brought together a group of artists from different artistic backgrounds. This collaboration resulted in cross-disciplinary shows, as well as The Minus Man, the Unbearable Side, a book that is supposed to be a reflection of the years spent with Lo Zoo. This focus on collaboration and the desire to create a dialogue encouraged him to open his own foundation, Cittadellarte, in 1998, a place to think and meet.

His works are guided by his desire for the "responsible transformation of society through the creative function of art". A committed artist, he is interested in societal and environmental problems. His last work, The Third Paradise, is just such an example, with the creation of a new symbol designed to guide us towards a new era of humanity.

Michelangelo Pistoletto’s career is amazingly dense and his works have been exhibited and acclaimed worldwide. He has won many prizes and medals, including the much sought after Golden Lion, which he was awarded at the Venice Biennale in 2003.

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