Born in 1895 in Torre Pallavicina in northern Italy, Giovanni Battista Podestà came from a very poor peasant family of thirteen children. Initially an assistant mason and carabiniere, he became interested in sculpture and ceramics. He drew his inspiration from popular, cultural and religious repertoires. His work focuses on the use of found materials, such as broken mirrors and metallized paper. Jean Tinguely bought several of Podestà’s works for his personal collection, a few of which he was keen to present at Le Cyclop.