Antony Micallef is a British artist who was taught by the great landscape painter John Virtue, who in turn was taught by the last of the post war painters the renowned Frank Auerbach. Widely recognised as one of the finest painters in contemporary art today. He has work in collections all over the world and has exhibited in group shows in institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy, Tate Britain and the ICA London.
Antony is pleased to present a major new body of meditative self-portraits entitled Self.
In an era when the selfie is ubiquitous, his long-awaited solo return unveils a series of energetic self-portraits on canvas and paper, presenting the ultimate commentary on this contemporary norm.
Self highlights a departure in style and language from the artist's earlier series Impure Idols (2007), Becoming Animal (2009) and Happy Deep Inside My Heart (2011). Stripping away the excess prevalent in this earlier work, Micallef has parted ways with the colourful pop language that dominated these previous series in exchange for a set of self-scrutinizing works that turns the looking glass upon himself and his medium.
The paradoxical notion that the self can be uncovered through the most narcissistic of gestures is explored through his relationship with the paint. The self-analytical dialogue is enacted through mark-making, the artist's hands and brush carefully constructing layer by layer in a vicious attack of the canvas. Set against Rembrandt-like backdrops of pastel and colourfully marbled hues, thick brushstrokes overlap, bleed and fuse into one another constituting a unique and authentic persona.
Antony Micallef's ultimate self-portrait, Self subverts the selfie paradox and presents a wiser artist in deep reflection.