Vito Acconci (b. 1940) is known for radical performances in the galleries and on the streets of New York, where he was born, lives and works. These have included actions that break with the traditional forms of art, such as masturbating in the presence of spectators, pushing passers-by and experimenting with his own body, thus breaking with the traditional forms of art. In the 1960s and 1970s, physical pain, fear, and the experience of sexuality were the main themes. Later, he began to study architecture and design, founding the Acconci Studio in 1988, which realizes public art projects in different parts of the world.
During his 40 years of artistic practice, Dennis Oppenheim (1938–2011) created works of Conceptual art, Performance, Earth art, sculpture and photography, often sited outside the gallery. A frequent participant in the Venice Biennale and Documenta, his work is in the collections of major art institutions in America and Europe. Living in New York, he was a close friend of Vito Acconci, under whose influence he explored the boundaries of physicality and performance in the 1960s and 70s, which he was amongst the first to document on video and film.