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Local artist Gabriel Buttigieg reflects on what makes us human in vibrant exhibition
And it opens tonight!

Joanna Demarco

Local artist Gabriel Buttigieg will once again shine an intriguing light on the human figure in upcoming exhibition titled Saudade which launches in the capital tonight.

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The playful and vibrant paintings differ greatly from Gabriel’s previous exhibitions, although an interest in the human form, tied in with deeper aspects of humanity, remain the recurring theme in Saudade, which he is presenting to the public one year after his last exhibition Dik il-Qtajra.

The Portuguese term saudade, “signifies a deep, emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves,” the artist says.

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Painting from the series Saudade

“In my paintings, one can observe a number of themes, such as innocence lost, nostalgia, vulnerability, ageing, sexuality and infidelity. The colours are vibrant and bold, shadowing a deeper and somewhat darker narrative,” he adds.

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Painting from the series Saudade

Gabriel attributes no specific source of inspiration underlying this body of work, except his constant intrigue with “what makes us human.”

“Through my work I have always attempted to encompass the existential and psychological traits of human nature, using the human figure as the main protagonist of my work,” he explains. “However, whilst previous exhibitions can be considered as more impulsive or emotive, for Suadade I opted for a calmer approach. I wanted something focusing more on the narrative - symbolic and metaphorical in nature.”

Saudade will be showing at Palazzo De la Salle in Valletta between the 8th and 29th November.


Joanna Demarco
Written by
Joanna Demarco
Joanna is a writer and a photographer based in Malta who spends most of her time seeking quirky spots around our islands or discovering and highlighting intriguing local stories.

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