In 1961 the artist was preparing a self-portrait on a polished surface. Seeing his reflection in that mirror, he finds the inspiration of a new art. He enlarges photos up to the life size of the characters and transposes them into a painting on tissue paper which is glued on a stainless steel plate. After 1971 he replaced the paint by a silkscreen from the original photo.
The character or the couple is often relegated to one edge of the mirror, leaving free the rest of the surface where the visitor adds his own reflection to the scene proposed by the artist. Pistoletto displays almost exclusively his friends and family. In this way the viewer joins the present time to a private scene from the artist's past.
On October 6 in London, Christie's sells a mirror painting 230 x 120 cm made in 1967 by Pistoletto, lot 108 estimated £ 2.5M.
Titled Uomo che guarda un negativo, it shows Alighiero Boetti standing, inspecting a photographic negative that he holds at arm's length. The viewer can position his own reflection in front of the artist or in front of the negative which is an image in the image viewed beyond the mirror by a perspective effect.
In the same year Boetti, Pistoletto and their friends created the movement Arte Povera liberating for the artistic creation the use of the most diverse materials in the trend opened by Duchamp, Rauschenberg and Cornell.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's including an interview of the artist and a very convincing demonstration by a young blonde woman of this illusion of encounter between the frozen past of the artwork and her real life.
SOLD for £ 3.7M including premium