Monday, January 31, 2011

Denis Dutton: A Darwinian theory of beauty | Video on

What is beauty? Is it in the eye of the beholder? Or is there a universal objective standard of beauty? This is an  interesting video on the topic.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Save the Arts

Had already posted  this video from but its good to repost it. We still need to create an arts industry that in a time of crisis might need to be saved. The arts ARE important to society. We judge civilisations by the arts and achievements they leave behind. That's how we are going to be judged.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Artibus 011

I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. - Mark Rothko

While looking for some Rothko images I cam across this blog post Interesting read. Love his work. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Would you like to buy an @?

Yes? No? You don't think you can acquire your own @? MoMa aquired their own @. The symbol @ is now part of the MoMa collection. If you don't believe me, or don't know what i'm talking about have a look at this

Monday, January 24, 2011

Koons and his balloons

An interesting piece of news found on Apparently, Jeff Koons, is claiming that someone copied his balloon dogs and turned them into bookends.


Handaq - 200x90cm on 3 panels
Acrylic and Oil Bars on Canvas
When someone commissions me to do a painting and his only requirement is that he would like an abstract, I usually find myself at a loss from where to start. I try to get to know something about the person and desperately try to find a point of departure. When I find it, all else falls into place.
Lately an old classmate asked me for a painting. This time it was quite easy to be inspired. My starting point was the school we attended together, Liceo Vassalli and the valley that lies next to it, Wied il-Kbir. I loved visiting the place again. It had been quite a while but it was worth it. Unfortunately, most of the old army huts are no longer there but still i could recognise certain areas. A trip down memory lane.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Art with a purpose

Some interesting stuff from Chris Jordan pictures some shocking statisics

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Abstract, or is it?

According to art historian Philip Leider - "if you are going to make abstract pictures you have to be sure that your colours don't suggest or take on the quality of non-abstract things, like sky or grass or air or shadow. "

Have you ever noticed a child's drawing where a smudge of green at the bottom of a paper and some strokes of blue on top will automatically give the impression that it is a landscape. Add a square in between the colour spaces and a triangle on top of it and you have a house, A couple of small v's and you have some birds. Non of these are close to what a landscape really is. Yet we manage to perceive it so. From the most realistic of paintings to the most abstract of works that's what the mind tries to do, organise information, shapes and colour into recognisable forms, objects that we know. And this is what fascinates me as an artist, where exactly is that cutoff line between total abstraction and some form of recognisable object. How abstract can an artist be and yet the painting will instill a sense of space, of an object, of recognisable form.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Artibus 010

How many Monet's and Picassos hang on the walls of even the most modest of suburbs? One can see great works through the windows of almost any street, displayed in framed splendour above the hearth or pinned at ragged corners to the bedroom wall. We can all be collectors now, for good reproductions may be had for the price of an indifferent meal. Between the covers on our bookshelves are whole galleries-worth of masterpieces.......One can hardly complain about this democratization of art. Philip Ball on reproductions in his book Bright Earth, The Invention of Colour.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The beauty of black

As i have always stated, my preferred medium is paint. Acrylics and oils, my heartthrobs, my lovers. Love every moment i spend with them and tresure the relationship i have with every tube and every drop of colour. Love their smell, love their feel and love their beauty. They posses me and they consume me.

Then there is ink. Indian Ink to be precise. Don't know what it is about ink that captivates me so much but it does. Not sure if its the lack of colour or the unforgiving nature of the medium but I love it. In all its shades. Whenever i have time and weather permitting, I love going outside, en plein air as the say, and work with ink. Just me, paper, ink, pen, water and some brushes. Just love it.

Here are a couple of pieces of works in ink i did recently. The originals are for sale at gallery pi.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Audiovisual Art

Being Creative

Deconstruction of a Church

"What inspires you? Do you wait for inspiration before you start work on a piece? How often are you inspired?" These are some of the questions I often get when talking to people about my work. Inspiration carries an aura of mysticism and is most of the time given an importance that it rarely deserves. It's true, that divine moment, that spark of enlightenment may be the start of something great. But a start is just that, a start. A piece of art is much more than a start, much more that needs to be done.

My preferred medium, painting, can be described in two basic parts, the technical part and the creative part. The technical part, ie painting drawing etc can be learnt. Yes, through hard work and patience it can be learnt. It is just a language like any other language. We learn to talk by hearing other people talk and then we try it out. At first we make a mess, then we start making some sense. Painting is exactly the same. Most people just give up because they don't have the patience to wait for results. Which might take years.  Then comes creativity. Even creativity has its methods. The creative process is well documented and a simple google search will lead you to thousands of pages relating to the topic.

So where does inspiration stand? The closest thing that I experience and can describe as inspiration is those moments during work that you feel that you chose the right direction. And even then, sometimes you realise you were wrong.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Optical Illusions

One of the things that have always fascinated me is colour, how colour changes in different conditions and how we see colour. Found this video on TED, worth watching

"the brain didn't actually evolve to see the world as it is, instead the brain evolved to see the world how it was useful to see in the past"

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Lucian Freud

"The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real." - Lucian Freud. 

Every now and again I go through some of the works of the great artists. And every time I end up discovering something new. Lucian Freud is one of my favourites. I find his work, disturbingly seductive, most of the time erotic. He manages to capture the intimacy created between the artist, the subject and the viewer that very few other artists manage to do. You end up feeling uneasy, feeling like a voyeur in a threesome

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Upcoming Projects and Exhibitions

Church Behind Walls
Exhibited at Gallery Pi
During the next few months I shall be quite busy working on a number of paintings I shall be exhibiting at the Ethnography Museum (Inquisitor's Palace) in Vittoriosa. The exhibition is planned for May this Year. Again I am revisiting the human figure. I shall be blogging on this exhibition, its theme and the progress of the pieces I'm working on quite often. In fact, through this blog I want to keep a sort of diary for the works involved, at least if not for all, for some of the works.

At the moment I am also working on a number art object derived from driftwood. These are quite experimental and, as objects, are very difficult to define. Still, quite enjoying the work. Will probably be exhibiting some of the pieces at Gallery Pi in February.   

Monday, January 03, 2011

Artibus 009

People want to find a "meaning" in everything and everyone. That's the disease of our age, an age that is anything but practical but believes itself to be more practical than any other age. - Pablo Picasso

Happy New Year to All

And here we go again. A new Year. A time where we should take stock of where we are in life and plan where we want to go. Well, as an artist you cannot but do that and this time of the year is as good as any other moment. As an artist, whilst making sure to continue on the same path you also have to seek ways to evolve, to grow. But then again, you need to grow without losing your inner child. So whilst wishing everyone a Happy New Year, may I also wish everyone to take care of their inner child, the artist in every one of us. 

And since the year is still young, the image accompanying this blog post is a study I did recently of baby B, the daughter of two lovely people.