Mario Schifano considered painting as the true frontier of the Avant-garde. This put him decidedly against the mainstream in the years he began – the early 1960s – when all and sundry were racing to declare that the world of art had entered a state of crisis. Painting was an obsolete language for the aesthetics of that time, something to be left behind or at least “contaminated” with other forms. For Schifano, however, it continued to be his everyday training ground, a world in which, with all his conquests and crises, ruptures and afterthoughts, he could bring himself into question. But, more than anything, his urge to experiment swept across the entire spectrum of his actions, from his materials and techniques to his composition and style. Much has been written about Schifano the Italian Pop artist, and this often superimposes impressions given by an absolutely media-oriented personality. While in the case of painting, as we have seen, the matter appears more complex, what made Schifano the only real Italian pop star were his attitudes, eccentricities, and immense talent, even though this was complicated by a tendency to disperse his energy and lose his way in a wild vivacity that went hand in hand with an equally pronounced self-destructiveness. Rather, I would call him a rock star, in view of the severity of his decisions and the way he often found himself in the meanderings of a reckless life. As handsome, sensual and appealing as a film star, as erratic as a peintre maudit, Schifano attacked the dark side of the economic boom, and in his restless way and with his longing for creative experiences, he anticipated the generational rift that was soon to lead to the clashes of 1968. This can be seen in the fact that in the mid-1960s he was a landmark figure in the world of underground cinema and, with his group “Le Stelle di Mario Schifano” (“The Stars of Mario Schifano”), he cut, produced and illustrated an LP of jazz-prog entitled Dedicato a… (Dedicated to…), which has since become a cult record.