Born in Turin, By age twenty he decided to to folow academic studies at the University of Turin, Balla moved to Rome in 1895 For several years he worked in Rome as an illustrator and caricaturist as well as doing portraiture. In 1899 his work was shown at the Venice Biennale and in the ensuing years his art was on display at major Italian exhibitions in Rome and Venice, in Munich, Berlin and Düsseldorf in Germany as well as at the Salon d'Automne in Paris and at galleries in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Influenced by Filippo Marinetti, Giacomo Balla adopted the Futurism style, creating a pictorial depiction of light, movement and speed. He was signatory to the Futurist Manifesto in 1910 and began designing and painting Futurist furniture and also created Futurist "antineutral" clothing. He also taught Umberto Boccioni. In painting, his new style is demonstrated in the 1912 work titled Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash. Seen here, is his 1914 work titled Abstract Speed + Sound (Velocità astratta + rumore). In 1914, he also began sculpting and the following year created perhaps his best known sculpture called Boccioni's Fist. During World War I Balla's studio became the meeting place for young artists but by the end of the war the Futurist movement was showing signs of decline. In 1935 he was made a member of Rome's Accademia di San Luca. Balla participated in the documenta 1 1955 in Kassel, Germany, his work was also shown in the documenta 8 in 1987.