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Michelangelo Pistoletto (Italian, b.1933)

Art

Birth Place: Biella (Biella province, Piedmont, Italy)

Biography:

Who is painter Michelangelo Pistoletto?

Michelangelo Pistoletto is an Italian painter, object artist, and art theorist. He is best known for his mirror paintings. Since the 1960s, Pistoletto has taken large mirrors and used them as a canvass to create photorealistic paintings. Pistoletto’s work is an expression of his Gesamtkunstwerk philosophy, which basically means that a work of art should use several art forms to create its meaning. Pistoletto has described it thusly, “ In my mirror-paintings, the dynamic reflection does not create a place, because it only reflects a place which already exists- the static silhouette does no more than re-propose an already existing place. I can create a place by bringing about a passage between the photograph and the mirror.”

Pistoletto’s work has been featured in some of the most prominent galleries in the world including, the Tate Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Roverto, and the Krems an Der Donau. He is beloved and revered in his home country of Italy.

What kind of art does Michelangelo Pistoletto make?

Michelangelo Pistoletto is best known for his mixed-media paintings and sculptures, especially his mirror paintings series. Starting in the 1960s, Pistoletto has always juxtaposed seemingly “high” and “low” art together to breakdown the viewers’ preconceived hierarchy of art. His first attempt, the Arte Povera series involved wrapping bricks in discarded fabric to create a fabulous tapestry. While he nearly left the art community in the 1970s, he returned to create sculptures with polyurethane and marble, leading to several prominent art critics rediscovering his work. Since then, he has continued to experiment with form and medium, mounting plays, creating sculptures, and returning again and again to his mirror paintings.

How did painter Michelangelo Pistoletto get started?

Michelangelo Pistoletto was born on June 23rd, 1933 in Biella, Italy. Starting at age 14, he worked at his father’s restoration workshop. Sometime in the early 1950s he began to experiment with his own art, first with figurative works and then later self-portraits. He mounted his first exhibition in 1959, then participated in the Biennale di San Marino. His work continued to evolve throughout the 1960s when he began using monochrome metallic backgrounds for many of his pieces. This ultimately culminated in his early mirror paintings, for which he is still chiefly known to this day. His pieces are commonly considered to be Gesamtkunstwerk, a philosophy he adopted during his exhibitions of the early 1960s.

How much are Michelangelo Pistoletto paintings worth?

Michelangelo Pistoletto’s pieces have a wide range of value, from a little over $2,500 on the low end, to well over $4,000,000 on the high end. Pistoletto is a revered and established member of the Italian art community, and his pieces are reflective of this in their value. The most ever paid at auction for a Michelangelo Pistoletto painting is $4,861,440 for the piece Uomo che Guarda un Negativo (Man Looking at a Negative) which sold on October 6th, 2017.

Where to buy Michelangelo Pistoletto paintings for sale?

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How to value Michelangelo Pistoletto paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.


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Michelangelo Pistoletto Original Art values sold at auction

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