During the 1960s, Schifano’s body of work became increasingly influenced by the presence of advertisements within the Roman cityscape. Through the exploration of popular culture and the appropriation of symbols such as corporate logos, his works were often exhibited alongside the celebrated American Pop-Artists of the time, establishing Schifano as one of the most important representatives of European Pop- Art. Contrary to some of the other Pop-Art aesthetics celebrating consumerism, the Italian artist often deconstructed and isolated fragments of the recognisable logos in an effort to visually undermine the commercialisation of culture. A lot of the paintings of this time even carry the title “propaganda”, further insinuating a social critique.
“I did my work at the same time, and not subsequently, with pop art. They made pop art and imposed it, almost like a political fact”.
The Italian writer Goffredo Parise described Schifano once as “A little puma whose musculature and sprint is not suspected”. In this unsuspected manner, the artist’s practice continously developed in a preeminent spirit alongside the rise of succeeding art movements such as Arte Povera. Schifano often utilised everyday material when constructing and composing his canvasses, much in the spirit of the Arte Povera artists. With time, in the late 1960s the artist increasingly aligned himself with leftist anti- government groups across the country. Exploring political issues such as the Vietnam War, Schifano documented widespread social unrest around the world by employing alternative media such as photography and film.