Between 1972 and 1976, Robert Gober studied literature and visual arts at the Middlebury College in Vermont. He spent one of his college years at the Tyler School of Art in Rome. After his study, he settled in New York, where he held his first solo exhibition in 1984 at the Paula Cooper Gallery. In the 1980s and 1990s, Gober produced a lot of three-dimensional work, mainly handmade replicas of objects from everyday life in unusual materials. From 1986, he also made wax sculptures of body parts, which dealt with the themes of gender identity and sexuality.