Antony Micallef

United Kingdom 1975

Urban Art

Antony Micallef
Antony Micallef
United Kingdom
December 12, 2013

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.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Self Lazarides, LondonSolo
2014BRUTALnOff-Site (The Strand), Conor HarringtonGroup
2013Copelouzos Family Art Museum, December, Athens, GreeceGroup
2013ArtwarsSaatchi Gallery, LondonGroup
2012Digital show National Museum in Warsaw, Nowa Sztuka, PolandGroup
2012Peace one day The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), LondonGroup
2011Happy, Deep Inside My Heart Lazarides Gallery, LondonSolo
2011Cabinet de curiositésBertrand & Gruner. Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2010 Hell’s Half AcreThe Old Vic Tunnels, Lazarides pop-up, LondonGroup
2010EurotrashLazarides pop-up, LA Beverly Hills, USAGroup
2009Becoming AnimalLazarides Gallery, LondonSolo
2009The Old Vic TunnelsTunnel 228 curated by Punch Drunk, LondonGroup
2009Journey. Supported by E. Thompson, the UN and the Roddick foundationWashington Place, NYGroup
2008The Royal Academy ,GSK Contemporary, Burlington Gardens, LondonGroup
2008The Tate BritainCurwen Studio Limited Edition Print Show, LondonGroup
2007Impure IdolsLazarides pop-up, LA Hollywood, USASolo
2007Santa’s Ghetto BethlehemManger Square, Bethlehem, PalestineGroup
2006It’s a Wonderful WorldLazarides Gallery, LondonSolo
2006Antony MicallefEyestorm, Milan, ItalySolo
2006Another Fucking CollectiveArcaute Arte Contemporaneo, MexicoGroup
2006Mystery Portrait ExhibitionNational Portrait Gallery, LondonGroup
2005Antony MicallefNational Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia, BulgariaSolo
200544 Boards: Human Rights CoalitionManHan Gallery, OhioGroup
2005How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BombAlphabet Gallery, LondonGroup
2005Millenaris Park, Budapest, HungaryGroup
2004A.D Gallery, California, USAGroup
2003Pure BrightonCatto Contemporary, LondonGroup
2002Perverse PopCatto Contemporary, LondonGroup
2000BP Portrait PrizeBP Portrait Prize, The National Portrait Gallery, LondonGroup