ARTIST PROFILE – Massimiliano Azzara

The Hidden Riddle


Walking into the studio of Massimiliano Azzara, I am struck by a piece of art as soon as I walk in.
A piece called Apostate. A 4 foot image of Jesus spread across an un-primed canvas with unusual markings, letters and numbers. This piece stretches in front of the window; to the right is another canvas where the lines, markings and equations/words continue. This is a Diptych at a right angle. I smiled as soon as I saw the piece it has quite an impact.

Furthermore I can see that I’m being lead into the piece through the figuration of Jesus and then asked questions; via the hidden riddles within the piece. I got the sense that I’d need a bit of time to work out the theory within the piece. However Massimiliano Azzara (Max for short), was keen to explain the piece. I get the sense that the work is a series of statements and thought processes that the artist deliberately places.



His studio is his flat in Brighton, East Sussex. The bed is on a mezzanine and the entire flat is filled with stored art work (some 60 pieces in his present series), art in process and interesting books such as Nicolo Machiavelli’s The Prince. Found images and utensils cover the walls. One desk and one table, a sofa and a chair. An ashtray and a bottle of Port. Paint brushes and paints…
The basic creature comforts of the artist…


Massimiliano takes me through an average of 30 pieces of work to rest at a controversial piece called The Birth of Christ, which is a work of patience when you see the brush work. Questioning the relationship between The Holocaust and Christianity?
Despite the fact that the riddles within his work pose questions about religion, art and ethics the work is visually modest regarding colour. All his work is monochrome. Born in Pescara, Italy Max was a troublemaker as a youngster who was at peace drawing either by lamp or evening light. He tells me he once got thrown out of a gallery for demanding an answer from the galley owner as to why a piece of art was worth the set amount?

His work is controversial and confronts the viewer with the riddles therein….


Written and Edited by Becky Blackhurst