Eduardo Paolozzi was born in Edinburgh, the eldest son of Italian immigrants. He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1943, followed by a brief spell at St Martins School of Art in 1944, and finally the Slade School of Fine Art from 1944 to 1947. He lived in Paris from 1947 until 1949 where he became acquainted with artists such as Brancusi and Braque. This period had an important influence on his work. He moved back to London after Paris where he set up a studio in Chelsea. His workshop was filled with hundreds of found objects, models, sculptures, tools, toys and materials as he used a great variety of objects and materials in his work, particularly his collages.
Paolozzi came to public attention in the 1950s, producing a range of striking screen prints and “Art Brut” sculpture. He was a founder member of the Independent Group in 1952, regarded as the precursor to the British and American Pop Art movements. Although he worked in a wide range of media throughout his career, Paolozzi became most closely associated with sculpture. He described his work as surrealist and he is recognised for producing largely lifelike statuary works, often with cubic elements added or removed or the human form deconstructed in a cubist manner.