Born in Dublin in 1941, Michael Craig-Martin is a contemporary conceptual artist, currently working in England. After studying art both in Europe and America, Craig-Martin has worked as an artist since the mid-60s. Initially, his primary interest was in household objects, which feature throughout his work. He spent his early years working on box-like constructions such as 4 Identical Boxes with Lids Reversed.
Craig-Martin became widely recognised in 1974 with his exhibit, An Oak Tree, where he placed a glass of water on a glass shelf alongside a list of questions and answers, in which he claims that the glass of water is an oak tree. This piece encapsulates the heart of conceptualist thinking, which explores the relationship between language and objects. An Oak Tree tests the faith of both the artist and the viewer, challenging them to accept it as something more than its physical appearance.
Continuing to develop his interest in household objects, Craig-Martin he explored a variety of media such as line drawing, painting, wall paintings, sculpture, prints and animation. He now works primarily with paint.
As well as gaining critical acclaim and exhibiting worldwide, Craig-Martin has had a significant influence on the Young British Artists- a group of young visual artists based in London, made up of many of his former students.