Where does reality end and fantasy begin? Are the two dimensions strictly separated? Looking at Patrizio Di Massimo’s new body of works, the answer can’t be taken for granted. The Tail End of the Tale, Di Massimo’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, navigates both dimensions, exploring the domestic while opening to surreal windows.
The paintings presented in the show often depicts the household environment, its interior details and psychological ambivalences: from the joyfulness of family moments, to the difficulties of parenting, from the intimate sphere to the ludic one
The exhibition is titled after one painting: The Tail End of the Tale. Here the artist portrays his own family as members of a famous child, becoming a little mouse, a fox and an owl. On the same sofa, the artist’s wife Nicoletta is sleeping, exhausted in The Price of Motherhood, showing a hidden aspect of parenting. Parenthood is a key theme in the show, and the artist doesn’t only represent his own experience, but plays homage to parent friends and fellow artists, as featured in the painting Angry Birds.
Succeeding a long, discontinued period of confinement, the stories chosen by the artist are connected to the familiar environment, and inevitably to its complex systems. The temptation to surrender to internal monsters can be felt, but it’s not the solution. The presence of windows in most of the paintings, such as Blue room or Flat 2, 164 Peckham Rye, are optimistic escapes to a current restricted reality. In so doing, Di Massimo suggests a reflection to the exploration of new perspectives, in order to reconcile with ourselves and our beloved ones. The exhibition borrows its title from the homonymous expression meaning “the end of the story”. If the tale comes to the last page, then perhaps it is time to start a new story.