Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933) is an Italian painter, action artist, and art theorist. He is one of the greatest exponents of contemporary art, vaunting over sixty years of experience. In the 50s, he began painting figurative works and self-portraits. In 1959, he participated in the San Marino Biennial, and one year later his first solo show took place at the Galatea Gallery in Turin. In the 60s, Pistoletto began combining painting with photography, applying collages on reflective backgrounds. He proceeded by printing photorealistic scenes on steel plates. He gained international recognition as artist also thanks to the gallerist Ileana Sonnabend, and began exhibiting his artworks in the USA. In 1967, he won the first prize at the São Paulo Biennial. He then started focussing on performance and video art, founding the action art group “Zoo Group”. Pistoletto adhered to the Arte Povera movement, meaning literally “poor” or “impoverished” art, a reference to the commonplace materials used in its making. As the Swiss curator Jean-Christophe Amman described, “Ars Povera means art that aspires to a poetic message in opposition to the technological world, and expresses that message by the simplest means. This return to the simplest and most natural laws and processes, with materials deriving from the power of the imagination, is equivalent to a re-evaluation of one’s behaviour in industrialised society”. As a matter of fact, Pistoletto is famous for his mirror paintings, aiming at connecting the artworks with the constantly-changing reality in which they are immersed, and at making beholders of these works confront with their own existences.