About the Artist
Massimiliano Petrone was born in Turin in 1983 and is one of the most innovative figures in contemporary Italian painting. His work brings together a variety of techniques, constantly experimenting with new styles using oil paint, spray cans and acrylics. His work also extends to graphics, video and a reconsideration of design objects. In 2015, after the success of his live painting, he began his collaboration with illy at the Coffee Cluster for the Milan Expo. This performance has now been revisited with the new illy Art Collection, that is born from a splash of coffee animated with the graphic touch typical of underground comics.
“When they saw the world from afar, everything seemed so perfect.” Exploring the Universe, we often discover that our everyday reality is made of things that are truly incredible. “It was only upon entering the cave, that he could finally see the light.” This is the story of a fish that traveled in search of something. Maybe it was the pearls the sea keeps safe, or maybe it was something more.
“Life takes directions that often we had not foreseen. He said at the crossroads.” This is the story of an arrow that was looking for a target and until it found it kept turning. “Let’s see each other. Let’s see each other in the mirror or in a dream. Let’s see each other in a coffee” Whose eye is it that gazes on? What does it see or does not want to see? The artist wants to see only that which is beautiful, because “even the eye must have its share”.
“They met by chance one day; but perhaps it was not chance at all.” This is the story of a longed-for encounter, and of all the seas in the world that were crossed to make it come true. “It seemed to him he saw a dragon, and yet instead it was a man with a hat.” Max Petrone wears his hat whenever he meets any of the characters who are a part of his life. Who are they? What deeds will they accomplish?
Max Petrone tells us six tales, with a painting technique using coffee that develops without any pre-planned design, but with an immediacy where “the first attempt is always good”. There are no complex frameworks or sophisticated elaborations, only simplicity & playfulness. In this collection, multiple characters take form in a story that starts almost by chance and lends itself to the interpretation of the beholder. The protagonists of Max Petrone’s tales are adventurously searching for something, exploring their worlds to find it, each with their own path to follow. For their stories to continue, they need the time and the imagination of the people who have caught a piece of them, perhaps as they sipped their coffee. Each cup carries with it the trace of a tale told by the artist, suggesting characters and settings, inviting everyone to contribute to the narrative, in a dialogue that is refreshing & sincere.