Antony Micallef is a British contemporary artist and painter whose mix of political imagery fused with contemporary expressionism has won him worldwide acclaim.
He was born in Swindon, England and graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Plymouth. Antony Micallef appeared on the art scene in 2000, winning second prize in the BP Portrait Award competition. Collectors of his work include Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and a handful of Hollywood’s young, bright and beautiful.
Some of Micallef’s work illustrates many contemporary cultural aspects and connects them with the human experience. His use of neutral colors and depictions of the human form delve beyond pop culture and bring to the surface many of the things that operate underneath the cultural construct. Aspects of Micallef’s work examines our dichotomous relationship with consumerism, questioning how we can despise multi-national brands yet still allow ourselves to be seduced by them. He frequently uses the union of two opposites to make an intriguing chemistry. Micallef’s practice has been summarized as ‘critical pop’, exposing the darker side of our consumerist society and the human condition.
Described as “Caravaggio meets Manga”, this potent cocktail has unsurprisingly seen Antony become one of the most compelling living painters. He describes his work as “like watching a Disney movie which slowly turns into violent pornography,” elaborating with, “the trouble with pop imagery is that it doesn’t really go deeper than the surface, you have to drag it down and challenge it to make it interesting.”
Antony was notably trained by the notoriously austere landscape painter John Virtue who in turn was taught by Frank Auerbach. While his mentor’s influence can certainly be seen, especially in early monochrome works such as Kiss at Tower Bridge, in contrast Antony has often passionately embraced color. His paintings are predominantly composed of charcoal and oils, and equally powerful when transferred to the medium of print – figures and faces loom through the veil of loose, confident, almost abstract brushstrokes, and animals and humans merge in the accidents of the artist’s stream of dark consciousness.
Antony Micallef has exhibited throughout the world from L.A, Tokyo to Bethlehem. As well as exhibiting at the National Portrait Gallery recent group shows include the Royal Academy, Burlington Gardens and a print show at the Tate Britain.
He lives in Notting Hill, London.
|2014||BRUTALn||Off-Site (The Strand), Conor Harrington||Group|
|2013||Copelouzos Family Art Museum, December, Athens, Greece||Group|
|2013||Artwars||Saatchi Gallery, London||Group|
|2012||Digital show||National Museum in Warsaw, Nowa Sztuka, Poland||Group|
|2012||Peace one day||The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London||Group|
|2011||Happy, Deep Inside My Heart||Lazarides Gallery, London||Solo|
|2011||Cabinet de curiosités||Bertrand & Gruner. Geneva, Switzerland||Group|
|2010||Hell’s Half Acre||The Old Vic Tunnels, Lazarides pop-up, London||Group|
|2010||Eurotrash||Lazarides pop-up, LA Beverly Hills, USA||Group|
|2009||Becoming Animal||Lazarides Gallery, London||Solo|
|2009||The Old Vic Tunnels||Tunnel 228 curated by Punch Drunk, London||Group|
|2009||Journey. Supported by E. Thompson, the UN and the Roddick foundation||Washington Place, NY||Group|
|2008||The Royal Academy ,GSK Contemporary, Burlington Gardens, London||Group|
|2008||The Tate Britain||Curwen Studio Limited Edition Print Show, London||Group|
|2007||Impure Idols||Lazarides pop-up, LA Hollywood, USA||Solo|
|2007||Santa’s Ghetto Bethlehem||Manger Square, Bethlehem, Palestine||Group|
|2006||It’s a Wonderful World||Lazarides Gallery, London||Solo|
|2006||Antony Micallef||Eyestorm, Milan, Italy||Solo|
|2006||Another Fucking Collective||Arcaute Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico||Group|
|2006||Mystery Portrait Exhibition||National Portrait Gallery, London||Group|
|2005||Antony Micallef||National Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria||Solo|
|2005||44 Boards: Human Rights Coalition||ManHan Gallery, Ohio||Group|
|2005||How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb||Alphabet Gallery, London||Group|
|2005||Millenaris Park, Budapest, Hungary||Group|
|2004||A.D Gallery, California, USA||Group|
|2003||Pure Brighton||Catto Contemporary, London||Group|
|2002||Perverse Pop||Catto Contemporary, London||Group|
|2000||BP Portrait Prize||BP Portrait Prize, The National Portrait Gallery, London||Group|