Yaacov Agam was born in Rishon LeZion, Palestine (Israel) in 1928 to a religious family. He was trained at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem before moving to Zurich, Switzerland in 1949. In Zurich, Agam studied under Johannes Itten at the Kunstgewerbeschule and was also influenced by the painter and sculptor Max Bill. In 1951 Agam moved to Paris, France where he still resides. He has a daughter and two sons. Agam established himself as one of the leading pioneers of kinetic art as early as 1955. His artistic credo published in 1964 hasn’t changed since. Agam states: “My intention was to create a work of art which would transcend the visible … with the understanding that it is a partial revelation and not the perpetuation of the existing.”
Agam’s kinetic works incorporate movement and viewer participation as well as frequent use of light and sound. His works can be found in many public spaces around the world. Among his most famous public art installations in Israel is the water fountain at Dizengoff Square, Tel Aviv which has provoked a vigorous public discussion. Agam is one of the highest selling Israeli artists and in 2010 sold a piece exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York for a record-breaking sum of $698,000. The Yaacov Agam Museum in the artist's hometown of Rishon LeZion, Israel, is now open and welcoming visitors.