Damien Cifelli imagines a hidden society

The artist showcases his blend of fantasy and reality in a new exhibition in London, which features a series of striking paintings

Multidisciplinary Scottish artist Damien Cifelli, who is now based in London, has imagined a fictional society called Tarogramma, which is the focus of a new solo exhibition at Moosey’s Hoxton gallery.

Around it, he has crafted Tarogramma’s own lore. He says that knowledge of this civilisation is supposedly limited to artefacts and scant imagery, leaving people asking whether it’s an afterlife, a forgotten city, or an entirely fictional construct.

Summiting Taro Mountain
Higher Ground General Store

A number of symbols are repeated throughout the work – including the taro plant – which come together to form part of Cifelli’s intricate world-building.

Although Tarogramma is said to have its own culture and way of life, there are close parallels to our own. In the alternate reality of Tarogramma, people still sell fruit and vegetables, line their bedroom walls with posters, and dine out together.

Dinner at the False Idol
Greengrocer at Crow Road Market

Many of the artworks have the tone of fashion documentary images or perhaps a sports brand campaign, from the compositions to the styling to the nonchalant expressions.

The resemblance seems deliberate given Cifelli’s objective with Tarogramma. Through this body of work, he asks: “By creating a fictional world, can we hold up a mirror to ourselves?”

The Emperor
I’m a Fan
Infinite Luxury

Welcome to Tarogramma runs at Moosey Hoxton, London until August 27; mooseyart.co.uk