Paolozzi was described by JG Ballard as an artist whose work could be used as evidence to reconstruct the twentieth century in the event of a holocaust, and he has been one of Britain's leading sculptors since the 1940s. Acknowledged as the creator of British Pop art, and a founding member of the ICA, Paolozzi's preoccupation with man and machine reveals the extent to which he brought art and science together. Paolozzi’s work was based on his interest in the mass media and new developments in science and technology of the post–war era; an exploration of the modern age. Paolozzi was a founder of the Independent Group in 1952, regarded as the precursor to the mid–fifties British and late–fifties American Pop Art movements. Paolozzi’s seminal 1947 collage; ‘I was a Rich Man’s Plaything’ is considered the earliest example of Pop Art. He was also influenced by industrial techniques, producing many of his early sculptures in aluminium, incorporating what appeared to be engine parts, brightly painted or finished in polished chrome. Human images that have mechanistic characteristics are his hallmark, as are the complex scenarios in the surrealist mechanical fantasies he produced in sculpture, collage, drawing and print.