Jean Tinguely (22 May 1925 in Fribourg, Switzerland – 30 August 1991 in Bern) was a Swiss painter and sculptor. He is best known for his sculptural machines or kinetic art, in the Dada tradition; known officially as metamechanics. Tinguely’s art satirized the mindless overproduction of material goods in advanced industrial society.
Tinguely grew up in Basel, but moved to France in 1952 with his first wife Swiss artist Eva Aeppli, to pursue a career in art. He belonged to the Parisian avantgarde in the mid-twentieth century and was one of the artists who signed the New Realist’s manifesto (Nouveau réalisme) in 1960.
His best-known work, a self-destroying sculpture titled Homage to New York (1960), only partially self-destructed at theMuseum of Modern Art, New York City, although his later work, Study for an End of the World No. 2 (1962), detonated successfully in front of an audience gathered in the desert outside Las Vegas.
In Arthur Penn’s Mickey One (1965) the mime-like Artist (Kamatari Fujiwara) with his self-destructive machine is an obvious Tinguely tribute.