Allan McCollum was born in Los Angeles, California in 1944, and now lives and works in New York. He has spent over thirty years exploring how objects achieve public and personal meaning in a world constituted in mass production, focusing most recently on collaborations with small community historical society museums in different parts of the world. In 2005, he designed The Shapes Project, a system to produce "a completely unique shape for every person on the planet, without repeating." His first solo exhibition was in 1971, and his first New York showing was in an exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1972. He moved to New York in 1975, and in the late seventies he became especially well known for his series, Surrogate Paintings. McCollum has had over 100 solo exhibitions, including retrospectives at the Musée d'Art Moderne, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lille, France (1998); the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (1995-96); the Serpentine Gallery, London (1990); the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmo, Sweden (1990); IVAM Centre del Carme, Valencia, Spain (1990); Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1989), and Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (1988). He has produced public art projects in the United States and Europe, and his works are held in nearly seventy major art museum collections worldwide.