Mimmo (Domenico) Paladino was born on December 18, 1948, in Paduli, near Benevento, and grew up in Naples. He developed an early interest in art, primarily through the influence of an uncle who was a painter. At the beginning of the 1970s he began to concentrate on drawing, introducing mythological subject matter that would later be of major importance to his work. His work draws on a wide range of archeological, mythological and stylistic sources, including Egyptian, Etruscan, Greco-Roman, early Christian and Romanesque Art, claiming all of them as legitimate sources in a non-hierarchical manner.
In the same way, he has worked and become prolific in a variety of media, including, in addition to drawing and painting, printmaking in many different techniques and sculpture. Between 1978 and 1980, he was creating monochromatic, primary colored paintings to which he attached geometric elements and found objects, such as twigs and masks, and by 1983 he was attaching sculptural forms, usually in carved wood, to his canvases, lending them a fetishistic quality. In the early 1980s he began to recreate his archaic personages in bronze using colored patinas, and to carve in wood and stone, creating totemic objects and masks as well as truncated animals and human figures. His work, in its proliferation of techniques and sources, can be seen to blur distinctions between sculpture and painting and to set up dialogue between both traditional and minimal modes of representation.
In 1980, in the exhibition ‘Aperto 80,’ the art critic Achille Bonito Oliva first grouped Paladino with other Italian artists of his generation Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi and Nicola De Maria calling them the ‘Transavanguardia’. Paladino has exhibited extensively throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia. The artist lives and works in Paduli and Milan.