Dario Ballantini was born in Livorno in 1964. He had his first meetings with paintings and theater, within the walls of his own house. With his father who was a painter in the neo realist style, his uncle a post Macchiaioli artist, his grandfather an actor of an amateur dramatic company, and his uncle a unsuccessful tenor.
And he was struck by the reproductions of Guttuso, and Picasso seen in the volumes of reunited publishers that were distributed by his father. He became very passionate about comic strips (Jacovitti, and Marvel authors), and began trying to realize some of his own. As a teen, he discovered the songs of Luigi Tenco, whose figure became the subject of many portraits, and opened the door to the musical passion of Italian singers/song writers. Among of which that stood out, Guccini and Dalla, who were painted many times in portraits.
After taking a course in hatching, held by professor Giulio Guiggi (1912-1994) He enrolled himself in an experimental secondary school specializing in Art. Where he was a student of Giancarlo Cocchia (1924-1987).
He graduated 1984.
In the mean time, his passion for being on stage, and for the figures of Totò, Petrolini and Alighiero Noschese grew after he watched their live performance in Pisa.
At the age of 16, he visited Paris, and the large art exhibition of Amedeo Modigliani (The Museum of Modern Art). These works partly influenced his training. The subjects that he was practicing on, during this period, was the irregular face of Totò, which reminded him of the "Cubist" deconstruction, and the portraits and caricatures of companions, and high school teachers, which he filled his scholastic notebooks with.
It all began in 1983, with his classmate Stefano Ceselli, in the cabaret forming the duet "Le Cornacchie" that, after a radio broadcast in a local radio station (Radio Flash) and a victory at the Festival Nazionale del Cabaret, it surprisingly lands a TV program "Ciao gente" conducted by Corrado Mantoni on Canale5 (Guarda il video!), which proposed young talents. Among others, Dario imitated Enzo Bearzot and Falcao.
In the meantime, he acted in theaters interpreting one of the four "Maschere of Livorno" in a dialect company that brought to the stage scenes from the works of Beppe Orlandi.
The comical duet appeared on "Pronto Raffaella" Rai 1 (Guarda il video!), "Tandem" Rai 2 and some episodes of "Incrocia la fortuna" on Antenna 3, then falls apart. The two 19 year olds did not have a manager, and Stefano decides to quit.
After finishing High School, Dario meets and socializes with the painter Maurilio Colombini, and the art dealer Cesare Rotini (1945-2008). He was exposed to the Livorno lifestyle, at first with the portraits of Pierpaolo Pasolini neorealist, and subsequently with the expressionist works in collection and personal.
Many of his small format works were purchased