Mimmo Rotella was born in Catanzaro on 7 October 1918. After completing his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, in 1945 he moved to Rome where, after his figurative beginnings, he elaborated an abstract-geometric style. As an alternative expressive method, in 1949 he invented "epistaltic" poetry: a set of words, even invented ones, whistles, sounds and onomatopoeic iterations. In 1951 he held his first solo exhibition at the Chiurazzi Gallery in Rome and obtained a Fulbright scholarship, thanks to which he went to the United States, where he attended the University of Kansas City for a year, creating a mural panel, exhibited at the Nelson Gallery in Kansas City and performs a phonetic poetry performance at Harvard University in Boston. Back in Rome in 1953, after a period of creative crisis he created the first décollage in which, using advertising posters ripped from the walls of the city and pasted on canvas, he continued his abstract research. Starting in 1958 he devoted himself to figurative décollage and created the Cinecittà series using the faces of movie stars and the figures from movie posters; Marilyn Monroe in particular becomes an icon of his work. In 1961, at the invitation of the critic Pierre Restany, he joined the Nouveau Réalisme movement and three years later he moved to Paris, where he developed a procedure he called "Mec-Art", with which, by projecting negative images onto the emulsified canvas, he created works that he exhibited for the first time in 1965 in the Galerie J of Restany. He then continued his research by creating the Artypo series, typographic proofs freely chosen and glued onto the canvas. In 1975 he created the first Plastiforme: torn posters placed on a polyurethane support. After settling in Milan, in the 1980s he started the series of Blanks, in which he covered the posters with monochrome sheets, and starting in 1984 he resumed painting, creating the cycle of works Cinecittà 2 and later the Sovrapitture, where he pictorially intervened on the advertising posters. He exhibited at the Center Pompidou in Paris and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1990 and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1994. The Mimmo Rotella Foundation was born in 2000, with the aim of promoting contemporary art and preserving the work of the artist. He died in Milan on January 8, 2006.