Eros Bendato Screpolato 2002, Bronze 88.5x145x114.5 in | 225x368x289.5 cm Agrigento, Italy
Mitoraj spent his youth in Poland studying at the Academy of Fine Arts. Under the tutelage of Tadeusz Kantor, he was introduced to contemporary artists such as Warhol, Lichtenstein, Merz and Klein. In 1968 he arrived in Paris to continue his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Living in Mexico in the 70s and studying South American and Aztec cultures, he was drawn creatively and artistically to sculpture.
After his first solo exhibition was a huge success at the La Hune Gallery in 1976 in Paris, he was awarded important prizes such as the “Montrouge Prix de la Sculpture” and encouraged by the French Minister of Culture who provided him with a studio at Montmartre. He travelled extensively; in particular to New York and Greece and after a visit to Pietrasanta in Tuscany, he discovered marble as an ideal material for his sculptures in addition to his previous use of terracotta and bronze.
Eventually in 1983 he decided to make Italy his home and opened a studio in Pietrasanta, though he continued to maintain his Paris atelier and soon after accepted an invitation to participate in the XLII Venice Biennale. His works were exhibited internationally in solo shows and important museums, and he began to receive significant commissions for his monumental sculptures both from private collectors and the public sector. His work can be seen in London at the British Museum and Canary Wharf, at Bamberg and Krakow, in Paris at La Défence, at the Uffizi Museum and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, in Piazza del Carmine and the Scala Theatre in Milan as well as in Rome in Piazza Monte Grappa and Piazza Mignanelli.
In 2004, Mitoraj exhibited his monumental sculptures at the Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, at the Mercati di Traiano in Rome and at the Royal Palace of Warsaw.
Mitoraj has had multiple exhibits in collaboration with the city of Venice, throughout and along the Grand Canal with his white Carrara marble, black Belgian marble and bronze works in black patina, monumental and otherwise. The artist also presented a series of icons on a gold background, utilizing the antique pictorial technique of encaustic art of which the ancient Greeks and Pompeians were master craftsmen and which has been a large influence on the artist.
In 2014 the artist became the first artist ever to have an exhibition to inaugurate the monumental complex in Miracoli Square, Pisa. The work will remain a permanent public fixture in the space.
The artist worked between Italy and France until his death in Paris in October 2014.