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In discussing his painting process, Di Massimo has noted that, “Every painting is a layered cemetery of images that I destroy in order to get the final one.” Looking at Shhhhh, it is not so difficult to understand this comparison. One can see pigments seeping through the foreground of the work like an arsenic-contaminated burial plot or blood absorbed into a bandage. Di Massimo adds and removes glazes of colour to make his figures leap out from their surroundings, as if they were real bodies performing onstage in front of a painted set.
A sense of an immeasurable depth gnaws at our consciousness, and all the while the moon is casting its eerie light over the scene, a ubiquitously mysterious image from the fairy tales of childhood. Associated with virginity and purity in classical mythology, the moon here is partially obscured, as if it is turning a blind eye to the nude figure and the secret she evidently wishes to keep. Her hair blows fiercely in the wind; something potentially ominous is imminent. Di Massimo offers no more clues. Perhaps it is only the figure who truly knows what it is.