Mimmo Rotella

Le sourire Rama, 1973
60 x 98 cm
23 5/8 x 38 5/8 in
Signed on the lower right on recto: “Rotella/73”           

€ 50,000.00


With the development of the Artypo technique, motivated by his growing interest in typography (the term combines “art” and “typography”), Mimmo Rotella continued to disrupt and subvert the function of printed advertising posters, by isolating and layering fragments of sfogliacci. Playing with images, modulating them as if in a visual orchestra, the artist gave life to a series of intertwined icons through his compositions of coloured layers.
Demonstrating his own creative use of typographical processes, the artist selected posters amongst those printing proofs typographers would normally discard, which he then either mounted them on canvas or laminated. These proofs – whose function was merely that of warming up printing presses, controlling registers and quality of both colours and images – presented a collection of randomly placed images with areas of overprinting, a superimposition entirely dictated by the element of chance.

Le sourire Rama (1973) features the cropped image of a woman smiling combined with different logos, amongst which the one of the Dutch margarine Rama, hence the title Le sourire Rama (The Rama smile). A fragment of a larger advert promoting the brand Rama, the original image source depicted a young boy and a young woman dressed in a traditional Dutch dress holding up a tub of margarine. Her long blonde braid is featured in Rotella’s appropriated print layer as well, superimposed with two logos of the brand. Additionally, the whole surface of the artypo is superimposed with an endless repetition of the logo for the Italian food company Locatelli paired with the logo for the company’s popular cheese product Formaggino Mio.