Jasper Johns was born in Allendale, South Carolina in 1930. In 1949, he moved to New York City and began experimenting with styles, and "Flag", dated 1955, earned him his first major attention. It was revolutionary in that it was simply a geometric design on a large canvas, divorced from emotional or political connotation.
His flag paintings are credited as key in the development of Minimal Art in that the focus of these pieces was their linearity and uniformity with de-emphasis on the unique creative talents of the artist. Over the next few years, Johns used the same approach with other images that were traditionally symbols. In 1956 to 1957, he added numbers to his paintings; in 1958, he did his first sculpture of mundane objects. In 1960, he executed his first lithographs.