In 1980 he was associated by the critic Achille Bonito Oliva with the Transavanguardia painters Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi and Nicola De Maria and, at the invitation of Achille Bonito Oliva, he participated in the Aperto '80 at the Venice Biennial.
He rapidly developed an allegorical figurative style, drawing on imagery from christianity and classical mythology, while also being influenced by ancient egyptian, tribal and modern art. Paladino's technical versatility also extended to various forms of printmaking (from 1980), including etching, linocut and aquatint.
In 2001 he performed for the city of Rome a monumental mosaic for the new production of the Ara Pacis. Since 1999 he is honorary member of the Royal Academy in London. Paladino has presented his work in numerous solo exhibitions: Monaco of Bavaria, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, 1985; Florence, Forte Belvedere, 1993; Naples, National Museum of Capodimonte, 1995-96; London, South London Gallery, 1999; Prato, Center for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci, 2002-03. In 2011, in the Palazzo Reale of Milan, was staged a major retrospective that looks back at the last forty years of his career. Paladino's work is held in major public collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Tate Gallery in London and he regularly shows his work at galleries and museums in Europe, in the United States and Asia.