Hand. Original etching on golden leaf plate, 2002. Edition of 25 signed and numbered impressions on Arches paper.
Mimmo Paladino is an Italian contemporary sculptor, painter, muralist and printmaker. He attended the Liceo Artistico di Benvenuto (Benevento Art School) from 1964 to 1968, when minimalism and conceptualism dominated the international art scene, which had effects on his art. He was also a part of Transavantgarde – the artistic movement with the neo-expressionist resurgence that swept through Italy in the 1980s. Paladino seeks his inspiration from both the ancient and the modern – from Egyptian, tribal, and classical artworks to the modern painting and sculpture. In his compositions we can often see a figure in combination with the signs like crosses, and techniques like the application of gold leafs, a symbol of eternity, borrowed from Christian iconography, as well as the hieratic pose of Byzantine figures and the gestural quality of that culture’s rites. A depiction of an opened palm in the art has many symbolic connotations, which depend on the artists philosophy, the culture he is surrounded by and religion. On this palm, Paladino created a male portrait with many letters around him, that looks like hieroglyphs. The relationship between the visual image and the written word is another of the artist’s principal lines of work.