Michelangelo Pistoletto ,Born June 25, 1933, Biella, Italy

Michelangelo Pistoletto ,Born June 25, 1933, Biella, Italy

A visionary artist

acknowledged as the maestro who is not afraid of infringing practices in going ahead what people normally think is boundaries. Michelangelo Pistoletto is now admired as a groundbreaking contemporary artist.  He is also establishing founder of Art e Povera, an art movement in the 60s.

Metamorfosi 1976 - 2013
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Metamorfosi 1976 – 2013

Recognized for his mirror paintings; Michelangelo Pistoletto’s primary works were incipiently centered in the study of self-portraiture, he quickly turned to something which shifted to his mark Mirror Paintings: works that involve the viewer in real-time while initiating the prospect. In particular, Pistoletto considered them as a method of converting the Renaissance prospect that had been seized by the avant-gardes of the beginning of the 20th century. He explained the Mirror Paintings as a redefinition of the notion of perspective.


 “the world that he sees and lives in”
Work From Series: “the world that he sees and lives in” 

It is delighting, one of those artists who have this tremendous profession following him with really innovative and exceptional work of art that kind of rupture through after the stranglehold of minimalism and began to coordinate with materials, technologies, and ideas that were important to art and life. 


He has also delivered a unique experience to his hometown of Biella in northern Italy and founded a huge art complex known as, ”Chittor dell”arte” but his eureka flashes occurred when viewing a mirror attempting to paint a self-portrait. He says I retain the time I realised to feel like an artist,  it was when I began painting my face on the black mirror reflective and understood at that moment that something is occurring, the moment I drew my face in the real agile approach, I felt the whole world is penetrating into the painting. I realized that this is the purpose of the system which is to understand not only to make or to create. 

All of that occurred in a moment and I felt very shocked and I stopped and thought about it and I painted the rest of the body. That was a discovery for Pistoletto that art was a space of freedom. 


The Present, Self Portrait in Shirt 1961


The Present, Self Portrait in Shirt 1961
The Present, Self Portrait in Shirt 1961

Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in 1933, grew up in northwest Italy, his father was thoroughly deaf but worked as restorer and painter. Pistoletto helped his dad as a boy in the workshop, but times were unstable. Italy at that time was in the hold of fascist rule and joined the second world war as the team of Germany. During the war, he was pushed to do the best in order to be a good boy and all of the people nearby were firing most critical of their selves. Maybe society was creating problems at that moment everywhere during the war. 


Pistoletto realized that in position to be a strength for good, art should be comprehensive, as an artist he experimented with the purposes of inducing the viewer and their experience into the picture. A  sign that took the birth from his own self-portraits. 

As a young man few of the stuff, he reestablished with his father were Byzantine icons, in which the background to the figure is simply Gold, you can see how the gold background in his own paintings will lead to the mirror, so he began experimenting with stainless steel mirrors which were polished. 

Pistoletto says, at the starting, I made the mirror painting with my image but instantly I started to put the element of life into the mirror, I always put the figure into the mirror, a figure that describes the moment that has been relished by the mirror itself.  

The element of mirror is significant in the works of Pistoletto because it brings the viewer into the frame rather than viewer being a submissive or the outer figure. The viewer becomes in the position where he is continually adapting, and the concept of living and seeing is there at the same moment. 

Back in Italy, he germinated a celebration engagement to interlock others with his work of art by taking his works into the streets. In the 60s one of his artworks was getting rolled in the streets, a large sphere of newspapers, he also recreated this happening in London after 40 years. His idea of art is not art but the sphere is the thing people start to play with and people will not ask the significance of the art in the context of the economy but the significance in terms of sharing. 

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Walking Sculpture, 1967
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Walking Sculpture, 1967

Trying to avoid the rule of consumerism at the basis of pop art Pistoletto grew as one of the foremost protectors of Arte Povera. An art movement beginning in Italy as a purposeful incitement upon art commercialization, artists created works by using ordinary materials, newspapers, ropes, bulbs, rags, etc with having the urge to connect the canyon between everyday life and art. Michelangelo Pistoletto combination of the classic and the contemporary would become significant work in the Arte Povera. 


Venus of the Rags, 1967
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Venus of the Rags, 1967

Michelangelo Pistoletto is now in his 9th decade and still working, he gained international acclaim for the mirror paintings series he has produced and became the important figure in the art movement Arte Povera. Povera, it does not mean poor in the sense of money or without money, but it is attention in what is required, what is the basic idea of life and art.  

”My work does not want to be destructive of the past, it was just simulated something different. ”

Michelangelo arrives with simple material but big ideas, which is one of the foundation of contemporary art, one of the things people do not like about contemporary art is the feeling that there is not much to it though when you dig beneath the surface, you are transmitted with perception, is that it? and when we start digging below the works of Michelangelo Pistoletto, we tend to find more and more and the consequences of these endlessly reflecting mirrors keep ongoing. Pistoletto is one of the grandmasters who have lived as a mountain contemporary scene and still creating extraordinary work of art, still vital, influential.

Michelangelo Pistoletto – Artist


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