Eminent London artist Antony Micallef graces The Outsiders
London gallery this spring with a special exhibition of his acclaimed Head portraits, opening 9 March 2012.
Following the runaway success of 2011s sold-out show Happy Deep Inside My Heart at Lazarides Rathbone Gallery, A Little Piece of Me features ten new examples of Antonys ongoing Head series. Each are titled A Little Piece of Me numbered one to ten.
Whilst the heads almost all resemble Antony himself, its not his intention to create self-portraits. Instead, they serve to capture a certain sentiment or vehemence. These Heads are simply about looking, says Antony. Its me, alone, with just a mirror. But the intention isnt to make a self-portrait. Instead, its to capture an emotion. I look at my own head as simply a method to help find these faces from within the paper, to purge them out. I feel its important to paint from life while Im creating these Heads, as its the only way to capture a visceral, fleeting glimpse that can be impossible to obtain from a photograph.
Antonys relationship with the Head paintings is spontaneous, physical and intimate: The end result is never known before I begin. The mark making creates the expression of the face, changing it with each stroke. Im constantly picking up the canvas, turning it around, trying to control the drips and then throwing it down. This is a very different process from doing some of the other larger, more considered pieces that I create.
Whilst they are not as ambitious in scale as Antonys major works the Head paintings are highly admired, both by Antonys fans and those viewing his art for the first time. When someone buys one of my Head paintings, its the biggest compliment of all, he says. They dont contain any of the distractions that my larger paintings contain. If somebody buys one, its not about the colour of the picture matching their designer apartment, and theyre not buying it according to the message, trend or latest fashion either. Theyre buying it purely for the painting, for the marks Ive made on the canvas.