At a very young age, he attended the shop of a cart decorator. At the end of the 1920s he began to practice in the studio of the futurist Pippo Rizzo. In 1933 he settled in Rome, where he became friends with Mafai, Pirandello, Cagli and Ziveri, who influenced his painting in a “tonal” sense. In 1935 he participated in the II Quadriennale and in 1936 in the Venice Biennale. In 1942, at the Bergamo Prize, he obtained the second prize with the Crucifixion , an open denunciation of the disasters caused by the Regime. In this period he studied the snappy figurations of post-cubist Picasso and accentuated his polemical vein towards social issues, playing a fundamental role in the evolution in a “realist” sense of Italian painting. Initially his action in favor of a committed painting takes place
within the fascist left which is headed by Giuseppe Bottai and the magazine “Primato”. During the war years, alongside Antonello Trombadori and other exponents of the Communist Party, he actively participated in the Resistance. In 1947 he joined the New Front of the Arts. From the 1950s he became the main exponent of a “realist” current,
politically committed alongside the P.C.I., and often controversially in conflict with the “formalist” tendencies of much abstract art, such as those expressed by the Forma 1 group.