Untitled. Original color etching and aquatint on golden leaf plate, unknown year. Edition of 100 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. Here is a man on a golden background holding a red cloth. His clothes are filled with heads that look like face masks with scared facial expressions. The red cloth makes him look like a Spanish bullfighter, and the golden background makes the color of the cloth more vibrant.