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Biography

Mimmo Rotella was an Italian artist.

After his art studies Mimmo Rotella started with figurative paintings and soon experimented with expressive abstract paintings. In 1949 Rotella turned to the creation of phonetic poems, which he called "epostaltici". In 1951 Rotella's first contacts with France were made and he exhibited at the "Salon des Realistes Nouvelles" in Paris.

In 1953 he discovered the aesthetic appeal of torn posters. From then on he worked with this medium (MANIFESTI LACERATI). These poster tear-offs, decollages, are in the tradition of the Cubists, but also of a Kurt Schwitters, and form the core of his artistic work. In this form, the tearing down of posters can be regarded as Rotella's 'invention'. Inspired by Rotella's practice, other artists also use this technique (e.g. Dufrêne or Hains). The early Wolf Vostell was also influenced by this artistic attitude. He thus created a European counter position to American Pop Art out of set pieces from everyday urban life, advertising, and yet he was very close to it.

In the beginning Rotella transferred posters or poster layers of advertising boards onto the canvas ("Double Décollage"), tore off sections and partially painted over them, later he went over to sticking poster backs onto the canvas, whereby he achieved new abstract effects. In addition to posters, he often used parts of the metal or wooden backs of billboards in public spaces. Rotella varied his method in many ways, using very different materials (up to the airplane wing) and often he painted over his works. Already in 1958 Mimmo Rotella created pictures from film posters (series Cinecittà). This engagement with the icons of film accompanied him until the last year of his life. In 2005 he created a series of twelve works with portraits of Marilyn Monroe.

After joining the Nouveau Réalisme group in Paris, Rotella became acquainted with the lively French art scene of the 1950s, but American Abstract Expressionism and informal painting also influenced his further artistic development. Soon he no longer created poster tear-offs alone, but also assemblages with everyday objects such as beverage caps, ropes, cords, etc.

Towards the end of the 1960s, Rotella turned to typographic works'(Artypo works) to work on advertisements in magazines in the early 1970s. At the same time, Rotella continued to work on phonetic poetry, so that his first Italian record was released in 1976. While in the 1970s he had rolled up posters and encased them in Plexiglas cubes, in the 1980s he began to cover posters with neutral paper (as if preparing a new poster). Influenced by graffiti, he also tore down posters, stuck them on canvas, and described them with signs and sayings.

Artworks Mimmo Rotella