Mario Schifano

Biography

Born in Homs, Libia, in 1934. Considered to be one of the most significant and pre-eminent artists of Italian postmodernism, he is even considered to be Andy Warhol’s heir. Many of his works, the so-called monochromes, present just one or two colours, applied on a packing card stuck to the canvas; the influence of Jasper Johns can be seen  in his use of isolated letters or numbers, but his way of painting them is closer to the manner of Robert Rauschenberg. In a work of 1960 the word no is depicted in capital letters in the manner of a mural graffiti.
His works from the Sixties can still be seen as contemporaneous, such as the series of works dedicated to advertisement brands (Coca-Cola, Esso, etc). He liked to work with new pictorial techniques and was among the first to use the computer in order to create works of art.
The apparent simplicity of his works lead to the creation of many fake works found in the art market. The last production period of Schifano was characterized by the media and multimedia. He designed the cd covers of many artists, such as the Velvet Underground and of various Italian groups.
In 1971 he produced a documentary called Umano non umano, with important figures such as Adriano Aprà, Carmelo Bene, Mick Jagger, Alberto Moravia, Sandro Penna, Rada Rassimov, Keith Richards. Together with the pittori maledetti (Angeli, Tano Festa etc.), he represented an important point of Contemporary art in Italy and in Europe. He died in Rome in 1998.