Selfportrait at the Age of 44

About Michael Landy

A member of the Young British Artists (YBAs), conceptual artist Michael Landy produces installations that comment on consumerism. For his best-known work Break Down (2001), Landy gathered all of his worldly belongings, including clothes, postage stamps, a car, and works of art by himself and other artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, and installed them in a former shop space in central London. After cataloguing all 7,227 items, Landy destroyed them on an assembly line with the help of 10 workers. None of the remaining rubbish was sold, and Landy made no money from the project. “I’m always trying to get rid of myself,” Landy said of the piece. “That’s the closest I’ve ever got.” In Art Bin (2010), Landy invited members of the public, collectors, and artists to dispose of artworks in a giant transparent container installed in a London gallery. In recent years, Landy has also produced etchings of weeds in the traditional style of botanical studies.

British, b. 1963, London, United Kingdom