Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in Biella in 1933. He began exhibiting in 1955 and in 1960 he made his first individual show at the Galleria Galatea in Turin. The first stage of his pictorial production is characterized by the investigation of the different possibilities offered by the self-portrait. During the biennium of 1961-1962, he began the series Cuadros Espejo (Mirror Paintings), which included in the work the presence of the spectator in real-time, recovering and reversing the Renaissance perspective that the avant-garde of the twentieth century had abandoned until that moment. These works provide rapid international recognition that translates into various individual exhibitions during the 1960s in prestigious museums and galleries in Europe and the United States. In 1965 and 1966 he made a series of works entitled Objects of Less, considered fundamental in the gestation of Arte Povera, an artistic movement of which Pistoletto was the motor and protagonist. From 1967 he began to work outside the traditional circuits, in his first manifestations of that “creative collaboration” that Pistoletto will develop during the following decades, bringing together artists from different disciplines and social sectors.
Michelangelo Pistoletto's first major exhibition in Spain was held in 1983 at the Crystal Palace of the Retiro Park, organized by the General Directorate of Fine Arts and Archives and curated by Aurora García. Almost two decades later, the Museu d'art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) dedicated to Pistoletto a large retrospective exhibition in 2000. Some of his most recent exhibitions have been held in 2010 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or in 2011 at the Serpentine Gallery in London