Paladino began his career at a time when Neo-expressionism was gaining popularity, largely as a reaction against the seemingly cold and simple forms of Minimalism and conceptual art’s emphasis on ideas above aesthetics. In 1979 the critic Achille Bonito Oliva used the term ‘Transavanguardia’ (beyond the avant-garde) to describe the group of Italian artists working in the Neo-expressionist style, including Paladino. The movement returned to what may be regarded as traditional and recognisable subjects in sculpture and painting.
The interpretation of human form was a central concern of Neo-expressionism, as was the involvement of history and mythology. Paladino’s birth place of Campania, a region colonised by the Ancient Greeks and an important cultural centre during the Roman republic, significantly influenced his use of imagery and allegory. The two works sited here use references often employed by Paladino: Porta d’Oriente the figure and door, and Architettura the horse.
In recent years Paladino has investigated the relationship between visual and sonic art forms, comparing composition in drawing and painting to counterpoints and harmonies in music. He has collaborated with the sound artist Brian Eno to create two installations, I Dormienti (1999) for the Roundhouse in London and a work for the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome in 2008.