Joep van Lieshout was born in 1963, in Ravenstein, Netherlands. He graduated in 1987 from the Academy of Modern Art in Rotterdam, where he lives and works. Since the early 1980s, he produced objects in brightly coloured polyester, the material that would become his trademark in subsequent years. In 1995 he established the Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL), a collective of about twenty artists. Since that time, the Atelier has had a very intensive program of exhibitions in major museums worldwide. The recurring themes in the work are autarky, power, politics and the more classical themes of life and death. Amongst the numerous awards received have been the Stankowski Award in 2009, the Kurt Schwitters Award in 2004, and the Wilhelmina-ring, Sculpture Award in 2000. AVL works can be found in private collections and have been exhibited in several prominent museums all around the world like the PS1 and MoMA in New York, the Stichting Rotterdam Museum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Kunstverein in Düsseldorf, at the MACBA in Barcelona, Venice Biennale 2003 and 2011.