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5 Painters to look out for in the Maltese Art Scene

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It is through the appreciation, enjoyment, and dedication to innovation, luxury, and culture that one gets to truly enjoy the finer things of life. Annual festivals celebrating the arts such as the Sliema Arts Festival and Earth Garden; The renovation of Valletta as the European Capital of Culture 2018; and flourishing art centres such as Palazzo De Piro and St James Cavalier, housing the foundation ‘Spazju Kreattiv’ (Creative Space), are steadily transforming Malta into a hub of culture and artistic endeavours.

This is a list that, although by no means exhaustive, features five painters that are prospering in the Maltese arts scene. All pictures within this post are property of the mentioned artists.

Jeni Caruana

Jeni Caruana

You will find her drawing with awe-inspiring speed and dexterity at an enchanting musical concert, a vibrant festival, or a captivating dance performance. Her aim is to capture that moment where the artist becomes one with their medium – the point where a musician becomes one with the music, or a dancer’s body becomes an instrument of expression.

Jeni Caruana

When she is not attending events, she dedicates her time to working with models, exploring the human condition – both in terms of anatomy and movement. It is the feeling of synthesis between artist and subject that Jeni finds most exhilarating about art. On Tuesdays, Jeni hosts figure drawing classes using models on the upper terraces of Palazzo De Piro in Mdina, welcoming both new, budding painters and experts in their craft.

 

John Caruana

John Caruana

John Caruana’s paintings depict the colours which characterise Malta’s blue, cloudless skies during the day or the scatter of orange, red, and auburn hues at sunset; honey-coloured buildings and architectural goldmines like Mdina; old, unchanged alleys, rocky scrub-land, and hidden, lush valleys. He is an aficionado of colour and its ability to breathe life into a picture.

John Caruana

On his website, you can find a collection of galleries, each focusing on a different facet. These include Maltese houses, churches and chapels, streets and alleys, coastlines and boats, landscapes, still life, portraits, and a gallery which features his own, private work.

Michael Wright – LeMakoo

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A remarkable (and my personal favourite) artist with an extraordinary career. He is an Australian oil-painter who blends the commercial and the flamboyant. He is not only successful in Malta, but also internationally. Indeed, his work is on display at a prestigious gallery in Moscow. His latest exhibition, held at the Intercontinental Hotel Malta, celebrated his 200th sale.

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This painting depicts the landscape of Valletta, burning with the vibrant orange and reds that have so often adorned LeMakoo’s Mdinas and Sydneys. Valletta itself has a Van Gogh feel to it, with the sleepy black, thick paint that animates it – but instead of a Starry Night we see crowning it is the Sunny Dawn that characterizes the Maltese Islands.

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He may not have been born in Malta, but his dedication to Maltese architecture, its landscape and impact on his home makes him a valued asset in the Maltese arts community. Several restaurants in St. Julians, wine bars in Valletta and even furniture showrooms proudly display a burning, moving landscape of LeMakoo.

Kenneth Zammit Tabona

Kenneth-Zammit-Tabona

 

A distinguished artist and illustrator renowned for his watercolour depictions of Maltese interiors and landscapes. Kenneth Zammit has over the last thirty years used his unique pictorial language to produce a body of work that translates the gentle atmosphere of Mediterranean summer evenings or storms at sea. Swirls of colour, expertly rendered through the aqueous watercolour medium, fluidly and effortlessly evoke the Mediterranean coastline, with its sublime light and tranquil atmosphere. Abiding by the German school of watercolours, he uses strong, vibrant, high-energy colours in his paintings.

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His success overseas is admirable, featuring in the Maltese Embassies in Berlin and Paris in 2005 and 2010 and Harrods in London in 2012. Kenneth Zammit is also presently the Artistic Director of the Manoel Theatre, Europe’s oldest fully functional national theatre, and the originator and artistic Director of the highly successful Valletta International Baroque Festival.

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Frederick Gingell

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From a young age, Frederick Gingell has carried and built upon his father’s artistic legacy and is now known as an individual who exudes youthful idealism, creativity, and an unbridled passion for the arts. He inherited his father’s skill in marquetry – a dying art, but also ventured into many other branches of painting and design. His fine canvasses are the result of decades of experience and the fusion of many artistic styles into one. A truly versatile artist, to him, art is an experimental experience wherein one expresses feelings, ideas, and thoughts. After all, painting is a form of communication older than our written language. With bright, serene colours, Federick captures the delight of creation, both when it comes to individual beauty, architecture, and landscape.

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This is our pick. What about your own? Do you know budding painters, still new to their craft, still undiscovered? Add your own, and we’ll have a look (and maybe, feature them!).

6 Comments

  1. Matthew valletta says:

    My pick is artist vania goshe.
    http://Www.vaniagoshe.com
    Find on facebook vania goshe art

    • Lee D'Amato says:

      Hello Matthew,
      Thanks for your recommendation! I have just taken a look at her website and facebook page, she is pretty impressive. I must admit I didn’t know about her. I will make sure to feature her in our next post :)

  2. My pick would be George Large unique style of painting.
    Painted a lot of work about Malta specially workmen.

    • Annabel Camilleri says:

      Thanks Michael. Really unique compositions. I love his subject matter. He obviously has a very keen eye for Maltese cultural elements.

  3. Nigel says:

    And mark mallia??

    • Lee D'Amato says:

      We’ll be publishing a new version of this article next week. Will definitely take a look at Mark Mallia!

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