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Talent on the islands! 10 contemporary local painters we can’t get enough of
This is local art we absolutely love

Melanie Drury

Art fascinates because it simply has no rules and no boundaries. And talented artists demonstrate just how diverse creative expression can be. On the other hand, people will resonate with what comes from that authentic place as they would if it were their own.

Art Gallerist Christine X directed us to some local painters that are currently making waves, and we don't mean with their paintbrushes. And here's how their works might touch the common person (me) who has no real background in history of art or artistic trends.

1. Selina Scerri

Selina Scerri's work is bright and vivid, with flowers, stars and rainbows coexisting with human figures and forms from nature. Her work is playful, childlike and appealing, a setting free of reality into free-form fantasy.

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2. Rupert Cefai

Rupert Cefai's work gives an impression of liquidity. Whether he is painting Malta scenes or nudes, and using paint or ink, the subject is evident, yet there is always a sense of intangibility as it if it is all melting right before your eyes, provoking a variety of emotions in the process.

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3. Vince Briffa

Tending towards the abstract, Vince Briffa's work varies immensely from bursts of colourful paint to interesting lines in black on white. The odd just-about-recognisable form appears here and there, making you wonder what's behind the picture.

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4. Gabriel Buttigieg

Nudes in nature with a sense of curious sexual exploration are the subject of most of Gabriel Buttigieg's pictures, whether they come as colourful paintings or line drawings. His wide tangent from realism creates a sense of curiosity in those admiring his art.

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5. Karen Caruana

Another study of humans but on a more surreal level, Karen Caruana's figures morph into the environment, into each other, into themselves! There is a kind of symbolism there that speaks volumes and her characters' facial expressions speak out loud. A true case of a picture is worth a thousand words.

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6. Andrew Borg

Abstracts, impressionist landscapes, portraits and local delicacies, in various mediums, all form part of Andrew Borg's work. Let's just call it experimental and interest-provoking. 

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7. Jesmond Vassallo

Simple yet extremely powerful seems an apt way to describe Jesmond Vassallo's work. It is extraordinary that a few well-placed lines can touch feelings and excite emotions and passions so deeply.

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8. Teresa Sciberras

Here's a dose of contemporary art to ponder upon. Colours and shapes want to speak to you, but can you hear what they are saying? Teresa Sciberras's collages, in painting and drawing, create bridges between different structures and invite you to examine their relationship.

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9. Iella - Daniela Attard

Illustrator and designer Daniela Attard's doodles, cartoons and watercolour paintings of cute animals, mythical creatures and magical beings transport you to a wonderful world of imagination. Some are cutsie, some are eerie. How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?

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10. Maxine Attard

Maxine Attard experiments with geometry or mark-making, and contrasting materials and colours in a seemingly constant exploration of the all that fills the void at the very source of existence. 

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Some look for technique, others call it taste, but for me it's all about what I find evocative. Which one of these artists has touched you the most?

18th January 2020

Melanie Drury
Written by
Melanie Drury
Melanie was born and raised in Malta and has spent a large chunk of her life travelling solo around the world. Back on the island with a new outlook, she realised just how much wealth her little island home possesses.

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