Internationally acclaimed artist Antony Micallef appeared on the art scene in 2000, winning second prize in the BP National Portrait Award. Since then his mix of political imagery fused with contemporary expressionism has won him world wide acclaim. Recent exhibitions include group shows at the Royal Academy and the Tate Britain.
Born in Swindon, England and a graduate in Fine Arts from the University of Plymouth, some of Micallef’s work illustrates many contemporary cultural aspects and connects them with the human experience. His use of neutral colors and depictions of the human form delve beyond pop culture and bring to the surface many of the things that operate underneath the cultural construct. Aspects of Micallef’s work examines our dichotomous relationship with consumerism, questioning how we can despise multi-national brands yet still allow ourselves to be seduced by them. He frequently uses the union of two opposites to make an intriguing chemistry. Micallef’s practice has been summarized as ‘critical pop’, exposing the darker side of our consumerist society and the human condition.
His painting style has been compared to Francis Bacon and is seen as an amalgamation of influences from the old masters such as Caravaggio and VelÃ¡zquez to more modern contemporary photographers and graphic artists. His depiction of the human body and mark making echo his teachings from John Virtue, who in turn was taught by Frank Auerbach. The rawness of expressionistic painterly marks is a stark contrast to the more graphic elements which surfaces throughout his work.