An Artist's Eye: Patrizio di Massimo

'We are all fighting for something'

In a new series, artists exhibiting at Frieze London selected works at Frieze Masters that spoke to them.
 
Patrizio di Massimo - who has a solo stand with t293 (Frieze London A13) - chose Pino Pascali's Gurriero ('Warrior') (1964) on the stand of Tornabuoni Art (Frieze Masters A8).

pascali.jpg

Pino Pascali, Guerriero ('Warrio') (1964). Courtesy: Tornabuoni Art

Pino Pascali, Guerriero ('Warrio') (1964). Courtesy: Tornabuoni Art

 

As a student in Italy, I made a documentary about this artist - Pino Pascali. He was influential in Arte Povera, but worked as an illustrator for advertising before getting recognition. At the time he made this - he was around 29 years old - you can see that graphic quality. He died too young - at just 32, in a motorbike crash.

When you first look at this, you can’t tell if it’s a person or just an empty suit of armour. The visor is open, but underneath there is more metal. For me, there has be some illusionism in painting - using paint to resemble something else. Pascali here uses mental to depict metal. But there’s an element of touch too - you can see where he has drawn over the surface in the enamel.

When I started my new series of paintings, I was thinking first of all about having a solo presentation, the idea of ego. I did one painting that is kind of a self-portrait of a trumpet player. There’s metal in that too - the instrument is a kind of armour. And big round cheeks: full of hot air. I’ve been looking at history - art history, Dix and the like - but also stories like Salome. By the end of the series, I made this painting of myself in a suit of armour. Hiding, really: I was exhausted, I didn’t want to be display. When it came to hanging the stand, I couldn’t find a way to make it work with the rest of the series - so me and my gallery decided to keep it in the cupboard. Which is quite appropriate.

To see this work is to think about coming full circle - from my first work about Pascali, to my latest now resembling this work of his, which he made as a young man.

I said that you can’t really tell if this a suit or there’s someone in it. The title solves that a little. I think artists are kind of warriors. We are all fighting for something.

patrizio.jpg

Patrizio di Massimo, Self-Portrait in Armour (2016). Courtesy: the artist and t293

Patrizio di Massimo, Self-Portrait in Armour (2016). Courtesy: the artist and t293

patrizio_ii.jpg

Patrizio di Massimo, Self-portrait with Trumpet (2016). Courtesy: the artist and t293

Patrizio di Massimo, Self-portrait with Trumpet (2016). Courtesy: the artist and t293

Most Read

The argument that ancestral connection offers a natural grasp of the complex histories and aesthetics of African art is...
Ahead of the 52nd edition of Art Cologne, your guide to the best shows to see in the city
‘I'm interested in the voice as author, as witness, as conduit, as ventriloquist’ – the artist speaks...
In further news: a report shows significant class divide in the arts; and Helen Cammock wins Max Mara art prize
A genre more associated with painting, an interest in the environment grounds a number of recent artists’ films 
A new report suggests that women, people from working-class backgrounds and BAME workers all face significant...
The divisive director out after less than six months by mutual consent
In further news: Gillian Ayres (1930-2018); Met appoints Max Hollein as director; Cannes announces official selection
With miart in town, the best art to see across the city – from ghostly apparitions to the many performances across the...
From Grave of the Fireflies to The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, the visionary director grounded fantasy with...
In further news: art dealer and Warhol friend killed in Trump Tower fire; UK arts organizations’s gender pay gap...
Emin threatened ‘to punch her lights out’, she claimed in a recent interview
As the Man Booker Prize debates whether to nix US writers, the ‘homogenized future’ some novelists fear for British...
‘Very often, the answer to why not would be: because you’re a girl’ – for this series, writer Fran Lebowitz speaks...
The artist is also planning a glass fountain of herself spouting her own blood
‘The difficulties are those which remain invisible’: for a new series, writer and curator Andrianna Campbell speaks...
With ‘David Bowie Is’ at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Glenn Adamson on the evolution of the music video – a genre Bowie...
Under a metahistorical guise, the filmmaking duo enact hidden tyrannies of the contemporary age
The area’s development boom isn’t just in luxury property – the art scene is determined to keep its place too
In further news: Laura Owens’s 356 Mission space closes; John Baldessari guest-stars in The Simpsons
With his fourth plinth commission unveiled in London, the artist talks archaeological magic tricks and ...
When dealing with abuse in the art industry, is it possible to separate the noun ‘work’ from the verb?

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

January - February 2018

frieze magazine

March 2018

frieze magazine

April 2018