Pearl Lam Galleries is pleased to participate in Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel, premiering a new series of works by leading International artist Antony Micallef. Constructing Auras constitutes a continuation of the artist's last exhibition, entitled Raw Intent, 2016. The new series highlights the close relationship between creator and object, and the co-dependence between these two entities. The forthcoming exhibition features a seminal body of works that focus on the fusion of a variety of forms that manifested itself through the artist's meticulous studies of form from nature, drawing inferences from a wide range of disciplines from palaeontology to couture textile. All of which are interwoven into the new series magnificently, resulting in compelling sculptural paintings that resonate with us all.
Micallef continues to challenge conventions surrounding the portrait painting genre, using disfiguration and impasto techniques to test the physical limitations of the two-dimensional plane. The artist combines the traditional mediums of beeswax and oil to develop an approach that is uniquely his. This constructed technique allows the artist to mould and create mass on the canvas that is not attainable through application with a brush. In the same way that beehives are constructed, the paintings have pockets of air and internal shapes signifying strength. The main structure or carcass of the painting is constructed in a similar way, exhibiting a honeycomb effect that is lighter in weight, which contrasts the heavy use of oil paint that would eventually melt downward at the mercy of gravity. The oil and beeswax structures are then coated and skinned with very thin layers of oil paint, akin to adding a layer of enamelling to a steel structure on a skyscraper.
Other works from the new series incorporate a distinctive technique that attributes the qualities of textile to the medium of oil paint, converting it into a material that can be folded and woven like a piece of leather. Micallef reasons "I want my forms to encompass a sense of life. This body of work is all about the materials used and the palpable essence of the material depicting a sense of being. All the things I was interested and influenced by that I never thought I could incorporate into my art have amalgamated into this body of work like one big mixing pot."