Eva and Franco Headshots

Eva and Franco Mattes, best known as the collaborative, have engaged in such pranks as launching an ad campaign for a fake movie (United We Stand, 2005) and creating a computer virus as their contribution to the 2001 Venice Biennale. Italian-born, but based in New York City, the couple are seen as some of the pioneers of the Net Art movement of the late 90's and early 00's. They were one of the few challenging the ethical and political issues ever since the beginning of the internet, and chose to use art as their vehicle. Their media facades were believable enough to elicit embarrassing reactions from governments, the public, and the art world.

They started off their career with a secret art project in which they stole 50 fragments from masterpieces all over the world, from artists like Kandinsky, Duchamp, Beuys, Rauschenberg, Warhol and Koons (Stolen Pieces, 1995-97). From there they did everything from unpredictable mass performances that mingled truth and falsehood to the point of being indistinguishable to installations that were recreations of some of the first memes ever. The Mattes' have always been on top of what was going on at the core of the internet.