Monday, May 28, 2007

Driftwood

A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic - Joseph Stalin

Maybe we’re still away from a million deaths, but that’s how the Maltese politicians and media are treating the current migration crisis. Yes it is migration and not immigration and as long as we continue to refer to the phenomenon as an illegal immigration problem we will find no solution. The issue is a mass migration phenomenon, where people from poor regions migrate to rich areas with the hope of finding a better future. What’s wrong with that? This has happened throughout human history. Countries have been built this way, namely the USA. And that’s what the Maltese did after both world wars.

Our government seems to be more interested in dealing with other authorities not to let people stranded at sea reach Malta than rescuing those who are risking their life to reach our shores. Apperantly these illegal immigrants are guilty to be born in a poor country or fleeing war and persecution. How dare they! We seem to forget that these are human beings and not driftwood.

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This weekend I realised that I have a number of paintings that I started and never finished. Sometimes this happens; I start a painting and then stop working on it, as if I cannot decide what to do next. I look at a painting, know that its not ready yet but do not know where the next brush stroke should go. What I usually do is leave the painting somewhere where I can see, with the hope that one morning I wake up inspired to finish it off. And behold, that’s what happened this weekend. The following paintings are the ones I managed to finish these last two day.
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untitled - acrylics on canvas 70x70cm
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untitled - acrylics on canvas 80x80cm

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Garibaldi

Giuseppe - Acrylic on canvas 70x100cm

Last week I handed in a painting of Giuseppe Garibaldi for a competition organised by the Italian Cultural Institute in Malta. The Exhibition will open on the 4th of July 2007, which happens to be the bicentenary of the birth of Garibaldi.

Usually I stay away from these competitions, for two main reasons, firstly I find it very hard to bring together the concept of art with competitions and secondly because I find it difficult to get into the right frame of mind to tackle the subject. Garibaldi! What would you choose for a subject that relates to Garibaldi? It is easy to start thinking of grand battle scenes and heroic images of the Italian leader, but that is not me.

So I decided to go for something simple, a portrait. Luckily images and photos of Garibaldi are in ample supply on the internet. What I tried to do is take 2D images of 20th century revolutionaries and translate them into a portrait of Garibaldi. Don’t know if I managed but quite a few people at first thought it was a painting of Che Guevara.

Interesting is the evolution of the painting. Very different from my landscapes is the fact that usually the end result has nothing to do from where I started, but in this painting I knew where I wanted to arrive.

Monday, May 14, 2007

15

Eastern Europe, which includes all European countries except the UK, Albania and Turkey, hate us or at least they hate our music. Check out the results of ESC 2007 . There seemed to be a conspiracy going on across ex-soviet countries not to vote for Malta for the ESC. That was the message on Xarabank last Friday so it must be true. Everything concerning the Maltese song was perfect so it has to be someone else's fault. It wasn't the singer's fault, nor the composer's, nor the organising committee’s but especially not Olivia’s crew, which happen to form part of Where’s Everybody. No critique is allowed. Its all the ex-soviets fault, those bunch of ex-commies.

Or is it? Was the performance so perfect? Was it such a good song? And what about all the activity on stage? Were those two half naked men, one with a violin, the other waving a piece of cloth necessary for the song? Why were they painted in gold for the general dress rehearsal but not for the actual performance? Did they finish the paint? Or did the communists steal it? And what was the connection of the 3 girls with fans with the song? If you suffer from vertigo you need 3 fans? What about one electric, would it suffice? Questions, questions, questions.

And another question, how come Where’s Everybody always end up involved in everything? Apart from Where’s Everybody there seems to be no one else. Maybe that’s why lately they started to call themselves WE. Now they seem convinced that there is just THEM.