Paolo Buggiani (1933, Castelfiorentino, Florence) is an Italian artist internationally recognized for his installations of fire sculptures. Born in the heart of Tuscany, in the early fifties he moved to Rome, where he enriched his study of Contemporary Art. At the age of 22, he participated in the national competition, Incontri della Gioventù, in which he won first place with the painter Romagnoni. Shortly after, he was invited to 1° Salone d’Estate along with thirty-one other artists of the Roman Avantgard including: Accardi Burri, Cagli Capogrossi, Colla Franchina, Mannucci, Mirko Novelli, Perilli, Rotella Tot, Turcato e Uncini. Buggiani was accepted into the group even though the majority of the artists were 20 years older and already well established. In 1956 Buggiani had his first solo show at the Schneider gallery of Rome presented by Corrado Cagli. He arrived in Paris in 1958, during his sojourn, Buggiani met Severini, Matta, Victor Brauner and Vilfredo Lam who introduced him to the gallery Glasier-Cordiè where he presented a one man show.
He moved to New York in 1962 and in 1968 received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Sculpture in America for his experiments using a new method of sculpture called the Vacuum Forming System. During this period, he was also researching the concept of time as it relates to Art. Returning to Italy in May 1968, he was active both in Rome and Milan. Buggiani’s work at the time included Ephemeral Sculpture in Motion, Fire (as Performing Art and Installation), Paintings over Reality (landscapes photographed through painted crystal) and Wearable Art (hand painted jumpsuits).
Buggiani returned to New York in 1978, in this period he starts his research on Mechanical Reptiles and Urban Mythology. These images placed into the urban environment brought him popularity as one of the most important members of the Street Art Movement, along with Keith Haring, Richard Hambleton, Ken Hiratsuka, Linus Coraggio, and R.V. (Robin Vanarsdol). Since 1979 he has been sharing his time between New York and the medieval town of Isola Farnese, in Rome.