Mimmo Rotella was a key figure in the creation of décollage, a technique which involves removing or tearing pieces of an existing image, rather than building it up like you would a collage. A European pioneer of Pop Art, Rotella enjoyed the process of making art, unlike his American counterpart Andy Warhol. He did however mock the commercialisation of high culture with his Oil can, turning the can into art by replacing the brand label with his own logo.
Inspired by the appearance of peeling billboard posters, Mimmo had a revelation:
“I was literally spellbound, and even more so because at that time I was convinced that painting was finished, that something new had to be unearthed, something alive and modern. So in the evenings I began to tear the posters, ripping them from the walls, and take them back to my studio, creating compositions and leaving them exactly the way they were, exactly the way I saw them. That is how the décollage came to be” – Mimmo Rotella
Rotella created his Seri décollages as a response to the grey of modern life; he said that to tear down the peeling posters, was the only way to protest against a society that had lost its appetite for transformation.
After a period in which Rotella focused his attention to a new method, projecting images onto canvasses, a much darker experiment using images of the assassination of JFK and the funeral of Pope John XXIII, he returned to making his décollages. In the 80’s he produced a series in tribute to Marilyn Monroe, and it is The Myth of Marilyn which hangs today in the QP LDN restaurant. Part of the SeriDecollages, which were limited to 125 sheets and numbered in in Arab numerals, each artwork is numbered on the lower left, has the embossing stamp of Fondazione Mimmo Rotella and is signed by the artist on the lower right.
The Myth of Marilyn is displayed in the QP LDN restaurant with thanks to Giglio Art UK and the Rotella’s foundation and will be on the wall for the foreseeable future. At QP LDN our food is an art but we save our walls for the real thing.