6 Most Expensive Antony Micallef Art Pieces Sold at Auctions
Antony Micallef is an English contemporary artist and painter who appeared on the British art scene in 2000, winning second prize in the BP Portrait Award competition. Being dubbed as “critical pop”, his work fuses political imagery and contemporary expressionism to represent the contemporary relationship with consumerism and branding, among others. Since his graduation in Fine Arts from the University of Plymouth, Antony Micallef has had numerous exhibitions, including group shows at the Royal Academy and the Tate Britain. Although there are obvious marks on his work made by teachings of John Virtue, the notoriously austere landscape painter, Antony has certainly deviated and embraced color throughout his career.
It’s clear why his paintings are collected even among Hollywood celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. In some of his work, Antony Micallef illustrates many contemporary cultural aspects and connects them with the human experience. Using neutral colors to depict the human form, he examines the bond that has been created between the modern man as a consumer and the multi-national brands, and brings to surface this twisted form that the human society has taken. Like in many of his other paintings, he uses the union of two opposites to make an intriguing presentation, leaving the viewers with something to think about. Describing his own work, Antony Micallef said: “My work is like watching a Disney movie which slowly turns into violent pornography.”
Antony Micallef work has fetched over $600,000 in the span of previous eight years, selling over one hundred pieces in auctions. Here’s a list of six most expensive Antony Micallef art pieces sold, and if you wish to read the complete history of his auctioned artwork, you can find the info here.
Rainbow Kid, 2008
Although 2008 hasn’t been the “wealthiest” year for Antony Micallef, the number of artworks sold tell a different tale. Rainbow Kid is one of many examples of his work depicting the effects of consumerism on the modern man. In this case, Antony Micallef shows how today’s life led by multi-national brands affects those that will inherit the world of tomorrow, creating deformations in the very roots of these young personas. The piece was sold for no less than $30,500 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in London in 2008, acknowledging the message the artist is trying to convey.
You can see the details of the sale here.
Woman Study 1, 2007
Throughout his successful career, Antony Micallef has painted and drawn a number of studies, including face studies, head studies and, ultimately, woman studies, which led to this expressionist piece. Emanating a dark, gloomy sense, Antony Micallef’s Woman Study portrays a woman figure in between successions of light and dark surfaces. Interchanging painting and drawing, his exceptional skill in balancing both is clearly displayed on the canvas, portraying his view on what this woman represents. The piece was made in 2007 and was sold at Sotheby’s in London by the end of the year, fetching a price of $30,700.
To find out the details, visit the artwork page.
Showing mastery over canvas even in his earlier work, Antony Micallef uses rich and diverse types of line which holds the form of the girl represented in the painting. The line and the surface of the canvas intertwine, creating the effect of coherence between the two. Using no more than shades of red, black and whiteness of the canvas, the artist managed to accomplish lightness and freshness of the painting. The painting’s high estimate was at $13,800, and the fact that it surpassed it by 185%, fetching the price of $39,300 in 2006 at Sotheby’s in London, shows how appreciated it truly is.
To check out the details of this artwork, click here.
Hobo Angel (Burger King), 2006
Yet another piece depicting the effects of consumer lifestyle on the people living in modern era, Hobo Angel (Burger King) shows the duality of our relationship with multi-national brands: both enticing and repulsive. Portraying the innocence and pureness of a young girl as an angel, he illustrates her “fall from grace” and corruption by given lifestyle in the form of face deformity, appearance of “properness” of Burger King and blurriness of the mind and perception. This piece found its owner at the end of 2007, and was sold at Sotheby’s in London for $45,000.
For all the details regarding the artwork and its sale, visit the info page here.
Hobo Angel (McDonald’s), 2006
Much like Hobo Angel (Burger King), Antony Micallef tries to emphasize how big of an influence these brands have, and how big of a mark they have already left on today’s population. Presenting a young girl from a different angle, he shows another angel defiled by these brands. Showcasing the elements face distortion, head smudges and the “pinkness” of McDonald’s, Antony Micallef exposes the dark side of our consumerist society and overall human condition. The painting sold in 2007 at Sotheby’s in London for more than twice of its high estimate, reaching the price of $55,300.
Complete data about the artwork and estimates can be found here.
Given the number of “Angel” art pieces in Antony Micallef’s repertoire, one might say that it became a trend in the making of his work. And if so, then Angel is what stands at its beginning. Similarly, this painting shows how the mainstream has warped the conception of normal, sculpting the young, unformed personalities around a twisted framework. The slight, faded shapes of a head in the background might imply what this person might have been, but has instead taken this twisted, absurd form. One might even notice a certain “escalation” within this line of Angel pieces, progressing from simply showing the deformity of consumer society, to exposing the wickedness of the frame that we’ve set for future generations. This painting was made in 2004, and it’s received its recognition in 2007, being sold for almost three times its estimated price. The piece fetched $63,300 at Sotheby’s in London.
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