Born in 1937 in Italian Tripoli, North Africa, artist, Clemente Mimun lived his childhood years in the ex-French colony of Tunisia. Raised between three cultures, Clemente immersed himself in the museums of LeBardo and Carthage, abundant with Roman and Phoenician art, all of which left an indelible impression. At the age of 16, Clemente moved to Paris where he spent countless hours in the coffeehouses absorbing the philosophical conversations of elder artists. To this day, Clemente acknowledges these experiences in the development of his own personal philosophies on existentialism and self-responsibility – all of which transpire in the motivation for his artwork.
By 1962, Clemente settled in the United States. Today, his universal language is spoken through his art. Clemente explains that his work is born of a synergy between memory and imagination. He uses no models, pictures or still life arrangements when creating a new work of art. A self-proclaimed “observer,” Clemente chooses to elicit an intellectual formula for his subject matter that he describes through a hierarchy of interpersonal understanding:
On the first level, Clemente strives to expose one’s isolation from the rest of the world and the inevitable “antagonistic possession” that lies in our relationships therein. The second level involves an attempt to communicate to resolve this antagonism – not through the complexity of words, but through the simplicity of symbolism. The third level is reconciliation – a resolution to consume and accept a peaceful coexistence. In other words, the artist states: “Why not say it with flowers?”