LONDON.- Becoming Animal sees the first solo show for the artist Antony Micallef in London in three years and his first anywhere since the epic sell-out exhibition Impure Idols in L.A in 2007. This collection of work represents a new high water mark for one of the most talented artists of his generation both in terms of his exquisite technique and the challenging manner in which he creates intricately complex compositions. The paintings, drawings and collages in the show are built upon a profound belief in the act of painting and mark making figures and faces loom through the veil of loose, confident, almost abstract brushstrokes and animals and humans merge in the happy accidents of the artists stream of consciousness. Inspired by anything from Pop Culture to Caravaggio, fashion magazines to Francis Bacon, this show comes as the result of a personal period of self examination, exploring the experiences of an artist in London through the sensations of light and dark mirrored in both his palette and his choice of imagery.
Following on from major contributions to the GSK Contemporary exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2008, Kevin Spaceys show in Londons Tunnel 228 and successful projects with the Tate Britain, Antony Micallef is currently contributing to a travelling exhibition, Journey, in association with the UN, the Mayor of New Yorks Office, Emma Thompson and the Roddick Foundation that highlights the horrors of sex trafficking. Through his often disturbing subject matter the images in this show depict the fine line between sensuality and discomfort, themes that dominate his work in a consistently powerful manner. As the artist says of his work; often it is like watching a Disney movie that slowly transforms into violence and pornography and you dont know how or when the change happens.
Antony Micallef, (b. Swindon, 19xx), lives and works in London, whose international reputation has been growing since he was awarded the BP portrait award at the National Portrait Gallery, London in 2000.
In May 2009, Micallefs took part in Tunnel 228, in Waterloo, London, collaboration between the Old Vic and one of the UK's most innovative performance companies, Punchdrunk. From November 2008 to January 2009, Antony Micallefs outside sculptures and painting took a prominent position at the Royal Academys Burlington Gardens as part of GSK Contemporary, the three month season of exhibitions and related events.
Micallef's work graced the Spring 2007 cover of a Sotheby's Contemporary Sale catalogue, resulting in a bidding war and went on to sell for over three times its estimate, and later in the year he showed at the Arcaute Arte Contemporaneo in Monterrey, Mexico and in the shows Stench and It's A Wonderful World at Lazarides Gallery.
Micallef's works were also shown at a Lazarides group show, The Outsiders, in New York in September 2006 and a rolling exhibition of the same name was on show at the London Charing Cross space. In 2006 he also exhibited at the Britart/ Eyestorm Gallery in Milan; prints from which were also exhibited at the British Embassy in Florence in 2007 alongside works by Damien Hirst and Peter Blake.