Patrizio Di Massimo, Cover Up, 2022; Oil on linen, 140 × 110 cm
Patrizio Di Massimo’s most intimate paintings feature his friends, acquaintances, and family – characters who are richly clothed as main actors and presences with strong identities, through portrayals exploring the interpersonal complexities of life that are brought to dramatic composition. His analysis of roles assigned to us, such as those of gender and family, is scrutinizing but never objectifying or judgmental, mirroring a vision of the world and its imperfections as well as its beauty.
In Cover Up, the artist’s partner is depicted hiding under sumptuous bed covers; her long hair spilling out over the sheets, eyes widened as though in surprise. The heightened focus on the deep creases and wrinkles of the bedding, cast in the soft glow of natural light, is reminiscent of Di Massimo’s longstanding fascination with Baroque tones and portraiture, now accentuated with a touch of unplaceable emotion that gives the mundane scene a hint of strangeness.