It is unusual to find such sensitive, sensual painted portraits of men, so when I came across the gorgeous work by Alessandro Tomassetti, I was absolutely delighted! The painter’s exploration of atypical expressions of masculinity are both intriguing and impressive. I am especially interested in his classical-seeming techniques as applied to very modern-looking male subjects.
Tomassetti says he was most inspired by the Italian Masters of the Baroque and Renaissance eras, including Caravaggio and Bernini, whose work he studied at McMaster University. Though he began his career in Hollywood as a computer animator, the artist disliked the creative restrictions of the work, so he went back to school to pursue fashion design. Tomassetti started his own menswear label, Filius, and launched a concept store called All Purpose. It was during this period that he started to be interested in making art featuring the male form.
“Around the time I started painting, it became clear that my favorite artists throughout history had painted males but my favorite contemporary figurative artists mostly focused on female subjects. Contemporary male portraits still seem reserved for “important” men, that is, conventionally powerful men.”
Tomassetti’s uncertain immigration status resulted in his relocation to Barcelona where he began to pursue painting in earnest.
All images property of Alessandro Tomassetti.