Conceived before the Covid pandemic but painted during lockdown, "Pale Shelter" introduces a new narrative element into my work. Thematically it explores aspects of being held back, of resignation, and of finding balance in our constrictions and limitations. Painted in a limited palette of non-traditional portrait colours, the scene feels familiar yet somehow heightened. The title comes from a 'Tears For Fears' song of the same name with lyrics that offer a point of reference:
You give me pale shelter...
And I can't operate on this failure
When all I want to be is
Completely in command.
Oil on linen, framed
42" x 17.5"
About the Artist
In his bold paintings of contemporary men, Toronto-born and Barcelona-based figurative painter Alessandro Tomassetti (b.1970) combines naturalistic rendering with a tenebrous palette and dramatic lighting to create work that is at once seductive and subversive. Rather than presenting his male subjects as mythological heroes or captains of industry, Tomassetti paints to reveal their vulnerability and sensitivity, manifesting an intimacy most often associated with paintings of female subjects. By eschewing historical expectations, Tomassetti’s oil paintings invite the viewer to acknowledge their preconceptions and explore the state of contemporary masculinity.