Mimmo Rotella, “With a Smile” (1962): though he began his career with the first wave of Pop artists at the ICA in London, he joined the French Pop art movement (Nouveau réalistes) and became one of the pioneers of the technique known as “décollage" - a subtractive process of collage in which the artist peels off layers of images, resulting in a sort of erosive effect:
“In the early 1950s, Rotella began to rip posters away from the walls of outdoor hoardings in Rome, and used them to create elaborate collages. Many of these were film posters but he also used advertisements for appliances and other goods, so that his works became a commentary on the post-war consumer boom. In the studio he would mount the poster fragments onto canvas, rearranging the pieces into new compositions but also stripping away further layers to accentuate their distressed appearance.” (Tate.org)
Artists were drawn to the décollage process for its metaphorical and philosophical implications, what it had to say about history and how one takes in an environment. The Nouveau Réalisme movement typically took the materialist principals of Pop art to a slightly more conservative, nostalgic sentiment, exhibiting very compositional forms out of trash and detritus that emphasize urban decay and mortality that lies behind the consumer products and media images.