Mimmo Rotella

Fai attenzione!, 1963-66
Photo emulsion on canvas
178 x 136 cm
70 1/8 x 53 1/2 in
Signed on the lower right on recto: “Rotella/63-66”
Signed on the upper left on verso: “Rotella”

€ 500,000.00


Fai attenzione!, 1963-1966 is an example of the use of photographic reproduction on canvas within Mimmo Rotella’s practice, a technique which he begun working with in 1963 in a quest for mechanical painting and that can be considered a natural progression – or rather, reversal, of his creative, layering processes of décollage. He still uses advertising posters and proofs in these works, which become even more objective in forming the artist’s iconography of the present. The procedure, which he calls reportage, involves choosing images, photographing them, projecting the blown-up negatives onto a canvas chemically treated with photographic emulsion to fix the image and when required, colouring. Reportage doesn’t just refer to the technique – namely, the multi-stage transferral of images from one medium to another – it comments on the content of the works, bringing to the fore the artist’s interest in exploring communication and media.

Fai attenzione!, 1963-1966 is a highly multi-layered photo emulsion coloured in a monochrome sepia tone, revealing several image sources. A grouping of three figures, a woman, a child playing with a ball and a small dog are the central focus of the composition. Their strikingly dynamic presence is intensified as the image of a car enters the frame from the right corner, constructing a moment of tension and danger. This is further referenced in the title work Fai attenzione!, which translates as “Be careful!”.
The scene is unfolding in front of an unidentified municipal cityscape backdrop. Several traces of images of vehicles are placed throughout the work, at times only visible when viewed upside down. Whilst the three figures are outdoors in front of an approaching car, a layer of the inside of a car from the viewing point of a driver glimpses through the central part of the composition.