Tuesday, April 10, 2007


When I was young, I had the opportunity to study art under various Maltese artists. One way or another, I learnt something from all of them. But I feel that two particular artists have affected me more than others, Harry Alden and Alfred Chircop. Alden taught me what painting is. It was him that installed in me the belief that an artist, has to know not only how to paint but also had to know his media; paints canvasses, materials etc. You are as good as your technique is.

Chircop infected me with something different, a virus called passion. I never heard the guy say something positive about his pupil’s work. The most we could get was “I don’t dislike!” He taught us that technique is not enough, you could teach a machine to be technically perfect but as artists we have to give something more. Technique without passion is soulless.

Passion in art is something very difficult to explain and to understand, you have to experience it. The first time I visited an exhibition of works by Chircop way back in the early nineties, I understood what he meant.

Lately I visited his latest exhibition, a collection of watercolour paintings held at the Middlesea House, Floriana. Though probably the artist is in his mid-seventies, his work is still young and fresh. The exhibition will be open till the 15th of April 2007. Not to be missed!

Alfred Chircop - Watercolour 51x37 cm 2001

1 comment:

Roderick Mallia said...

Watercolours?! I could swear that is acrylic. The colours are so vivid and fresh, far from the usual washed-out effect watercolours tend to be associated with.