Born in Biella, Italy, in 1933, Michelangelo Pistoletto is a italian contemporary artist, painter and sculptor. Known since the 1960s, Pistoletto joined the Arte Povera movement in 1967.
From 1947 to 1958, Pistoletto worked with his father, a painting restorer, frequenting in the same time a publicity design school.
At the beginning of the 1960s, Pistoletto began to realise figurative painted works and self-portraits on a metallic monochrom background. Then, Pistoletto combined painting and photography by using collage technics on reflecting backgrounds. Finally, he dedicated himself to the high definition photorealist printing on polish steel sheets, by using serigraphy.
In 1967, Pistoletto was rewarded the First Prize of the Sao Paulo Biennale. The very same year, he began to highlight performance, videos and theatre. He created a action art groupe, "Zoo Group", the goal being to show the unity between art and daily life.
At the end of the 1960s, Pistoletto realised mouldings from rags, renewing the classing statuary art, omnipresent in Italy. The art of using "poor materials" is one of the aspects of the Arte Povera.
In 1974, Pistoletto left nearly entirely the artistic scene, before starting again sculpture and realising theater decorations.
Since 1990, Pistoletto lives and works in Turino.