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Angelo Meani was born in Milan, Italy, where his parents owned a marble workshop. He was very quickly initiated into the profession: he started to carve marble as well as model small statues in clay. Later he served an apprenticeship as an engraver in a foundry, then obtained a diploma in sculpture. Angelo Meani next fashioned bas-reliefs for cemeteries and restored sculptures in Milan Cathedral.
But he felt cramped within the academic world, so he started to collect broken crockery as well as all kinds of everyday objects which he assembled, creating comical masks. He subsequently left the family business before fleeing to Switzerland in 1943 to escape mobilization during the Second World War. There, he was employed as a labourer and gardener, but ended up leading a marginal existence in the vicinity of Lausanne.
From that point on, Angelo Meani devoted himself exclusively to his creative activity. He retrieved the broken crockery sets that big stores placed at his disposal and with them made colourful masks.