Domenico Rotella, known as Mimmo, was born in Catanzaro (Italy) in 1918. He is one of the major figures of the New Realism. He is sensitive to the plastic lyricism of the posters posted on the walls of the city, and subjected to the weather and the lacerations of anonymous people. He is interested in photography and photomontage, in the technique of collage and assembly, in phonetic poetry and in the music of primitive societies.

A new language of the street

The art of Mimmo Rotella, abstract, is then made of wide graphic signs on formally cut backgrounds. It is from 1953 that the artist starts to take off the torn posters, almost monochrome, the maroufles on canvas. Rotella highlights a language of the street, abstract and poetic. He takes many photographs, trying to discover the plastic appearance of urban waste, garbage and other public dumps.

The Mec Art

In 1961, invited by Pierre Restany, he joined the New Realists of Paris. From 1963 onwards, he put to the test the process of photographic transfer on emulsioned canvas of repetitive images, extracted from magazines or from his own “take-offs” (Artypos series, on canvas or plastic support). In 1964, he was one of the initiators of Mec Art.

From the beginning of the 80’s, he uses as a support blank “over-posters”, and extracts graffiti, bombings and slogans. He begins a set of neo-expressionist paintings of cinema images.

Rotellisations of various objects

Since the 1960s, the artist has also proposed “rotellisations d’objets divers”, readymades where he removes objects from their usual use (Rotella Metrica, 1966). This approach culminated in the 1990s with the Replicants, porcelain replicas of the heads of De Chirico’s blind mannequins, which, wearing glasses or masks, definitively return us to the strange familiarity of objects.