Mario Schifano (Homs-Libya 1934 – Rome 1998).
The son of an archaeologist responsible for excavations at Leptis Magna in Libya, after an apprenticeship at the Museo Etrusco di Villa Giulia, he made his debut in 1960 with an exhibition at the Galleria La Salita in Rome presented by Pierre Restany: Cinque pittori romani: Angeli, Festa, Lo Savio, Schifano, Uncini.
He immediately attracted the interest of the critics by producing monochrome paintings that offered the idea of a photographic screen, which would later include numbers, letters, road signs, Esso and Coca Cola brands. He signed an exclusive contract with the American gallery owner Ileana Sonnabend.
Solo exhibitions were held in Rome, Paris and Milan. He received his first awards: the Premio Lissone 1961, the Premio Fiorino and La Nuova Figurazione, Florence1963.
In 1962 he exhibited at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York in the exhibition The New Realists. He broke off his association with Ileana Sonnabend.
In 1963 he made his first trip to the United States where he met Frank O’Hara, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.