Falling in love with Picasso, De Chirico & Dalí as an Italian teenager, now London-based Patrizio di Massimo creates seductive paintings that discover the beautiful & the grotesque. Describing himself as an obsessive painter, he speaks of his paintings as layered cemeteries of images that need to be destroyed to achieve the final result. Di Massimo’s paintings depict hidden or forbidden desires, allowing for a connection with the physical experience of the body.
Patrizio Di Massimo sets up a vocabulary with endless combinations of information & references ... from Renaissance painting, through Mannerism & the late nineteenth century French artists, to the icons of contemporary photography, to unidentified images found on the web, to an archive of personal drawings & photographs.
The artist works at an ever-present space-time junction, creating an imaginary world in which if he anachronistically seems to draw on a past tradition, he actually makes an ancient language current, bringing it back to our time, instilling new energy & a new vision into it with images relating to the personal & the universal, to the public & the private.
Images that have the challenging appeal of an advertisement, with their firm tone, vibrant colors, plentiful details, movement, story-telling.
Clad in clever irony & classic elegance, Patrizio Di Massimo’s paintings become paraphrases of a much larger world in which the artist includes friends, family, acquaintances & people close to him. His characters take shape, move, leave the studio & the mind of the artist to confront the real world — no longer a plain representation of themselves, but main actors & presences, the interpreters of their own life & defined identities. Masculine & feminine merge in the artist's practice, & the so-called 'gender roles' are constantly redefined, questioned & recoded.
The artist therefore represents himself, his self-portrait, in a multitude of works & in a continuous externalization of himself, aimed at a process of constant identity validation.