The subject matter of Mimmo Paladino's forthcoming exhibition at Alan Cristea Gallery is between fifteen to twenty monotypes, from a total of forty created in 1997. The series, as yet untitled, (Paladino asserts that titles "… serve to provide resonance for the image but not to delimit its content") depicts a sad human figure or face on a sheet of paper collaged to the top centre of each image. The rest of each composition gives the impression of a dream, or a sequence of dreams, emanating from this face or figure.
The series uses a number of different media, including screenprinting, stencilling, etching, carborundum, collage, photographic transfers, plastic moulds, flocking, pencil drawing, gold leaf, oil painting and pastel. The series of a total of forty monotypes is a remarkable achievement: the size, 158.5 x 225.5cm, and complexity of each piece is truly impressive.
Each monotype is printed on Japan paper mounted on Tarlatan, a thin stiffened cotton fabric in open plain weave, giving the images a transient, floating quality, which itself heightens the impression of human vulnerability, and the dream like quality of the pictures.
Paladino is a completely natural printmaker. Printmaking comes as easily to him as sculpting or painting. He himself has described the tools that he employs to print or paint or sculpt as extensions of his arm and thus also of his soul and his brain, and he delights in these tools, just as he delights in the feel of wood or copper. He is as happy working with a team of technicians in a vast printing studio, as he is working alone on his own small press in Paduli, South of Naples, where he was born and still lives. He feels no need to pre plan images. He makes no preparatory sketches of the prints, because he works just as fluently with a burin or a chisel, as he does with a pencil.