Tuesday, April 29, 2008


German artist Gregor Schneider is planning the ultimate performance piece: showing a person dying as part of an exhibition.

“I want to display a person dying naturally in the piece or somebody who has just died,” he told The Art Newspaper. “My aim is to show the beauty of death.”

I always thought of art as a reinterpretation of life, whatever that may mean. I cannot see the 'reinterpretation' in this though.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What is Art?

A few days ago, I received an email with a link to Sotheby's which showed estimate bids of some pieces of art valued at exorbitant prices. Here is the LINK. I have always been fascinated by what people are ready to pay (or not) for the sake of owning a piece of art. Most people would not even consider these works as art let alone pay those prices. Personally I am not ready to spend hundreds of thousands for an art piece for one simple reason, I do not have that kind of money. But what is exactly art? What qualifies as art and what not? This video might help to find the answer.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

CoE 2008 Malta Workshop

This past week there was the Council of Europe teacher training workshop held in Malta. Being the European year of Intercultural Dialogue, this year's workshop focused on the topic. A number of local and other European teachers attended the workshop which started on Tuesday and ended last Friday. As a memento for the occasion, the participants received a signed print of one of my studies of the Grand Harbour Valletta (above). The image was also used as a backdrop on stage and for the cover of the official program.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jeni Caruana @ Heritage Malta

An exhibition of paintings by Jeni Caruana entitled “Treescapes……..Lifescapes” will be open to the public from Monday 21st April until Friday 16th May at the Heritage Malta Head Office, Merchants Street Valletta. The collection includes ink studies, watercolours and acrylics, ranging from the purely anecdotal to semi-abstract, expressing the artists’ emotional reaction to and feelings about recent events in her life, using trees as her motif. The venue is open weekdays from 9am to 4pm.

more info at www.jenicaruana.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mr. Big

Earlier today, someone said to me.."but your paintings are big". Now, most of my works measure 70x70cm to1.2x1.2m. It's not really small I know but not what I would consider big.

David Hockney has just donated to the TATE his biggest painting, Bigger Trees near Warter. The oil painting, which was executed en plaine air, was made on fifty canvas panels measuring in total 12.2x4.6m. Now that is what I call BIG!

Monday, April 14, 2008

How much?!?!

How to price a painting? That's the million dollar question! Pricing has always been a nightmare. What's the right price? How the hell would I know. But lets not get too depressed. Apparently, it has been scientifically proven that we like expensive things more.

In an experiment conducted by Antonio Rangel at the California Institute of Technology, the brains of 20 volunteers were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging while they tasted five different wines costing $5 to $90 a bottle. But Rangel fibbed, telling them that the cheap wine was the most expensive, or giving the same price to two different wines. The scanner showed consistently that the flow of blood to the part of the brain that registers pleasure, the medial orbitofrontal cortex, increased when the price was declared to be high, not according to the quality of the wine. In case this got attributed simply to the ignorant palates of the volunteers, Rangel repeated the experiment with members of the Stanford University wine club and got widely similar results.

I have similar experiences when it comes to the female members of my family (especially my sister and to a lesser degree my wife) but unfortunately not my clients. So, next time i will try to price something i will keep this in mind. The more expensive it is, the more it will be liked and appreciated.

Friday, April 04, 2008


This is my 100th post. Being such an important number i wanted to make some sort of important announcement and here it is.....in a few days a few of my friend and myself are going to open a new blog/website called il-manocca. The idea is to have a general blog where a number of individuals can post on various topics from a progressive perspective. Apart from general commentary my involvement will also include two other main contributions.

Firstly, articles that up till now were being published on The Politics of Art will now be posted on il-manocca. The Politics of Art did not have the following and participation i had hoped for. Now i hope that il-manocca, being targeted to a larger audience, will be a more appropriate forum where to discuss the political issues concerning the artistic community. There are other plans for the future, hopefully il-manocca can help us realise them.

Secondly, I shall be posting a regular cartoon strip entitled Zagza's Wit. Zagza, (his real name is Zagzagel), was once the angel of wisdom. Rumours have it that he was planning a revolution to change the kingdom into a democratic republic and the authorities did not like it. Some say he left, others say he was thrown out; what is certain is that he is now living amongst us. He has become a truly Maltese and like all Maltese he has something to say about everything.