Claes Oldenburg studied literature and art history at Yale University and the Art Institute of Chicago. He quickly became involved in performance art after moving to New York and meeting many performance artists. By 1959, he had created drawings and collages of common objects and renderings of grotesque human figures. He created The Store in his studio, a performance space that re-created a neighborhood of shops that displayed goods that were made of plaster. He emerged as a leading Pop artist, combining consumer culture into his own sculptures. Oldenburg married artist Coosje van Bruggen in 1977. The two collaborated on many large-scale projects together and with architect Frank O. Gehry in the mid-1970s and early 1990s.