Known for his visually charged figure paintings, Micallef has enjoyed international success since he placed second in the BP Portrait Award 2000, hosted at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Other key exhibitions include at the National Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria; the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland; The Royal Academy, London, UK; the ICA, London, UK; Tate Britain, London, UK; and Dallas Contemporary, Texas, USA.
Micallef’s new series of works are a complete departure from his earlier artworks. He builds up a relief-like surface with heavy paint to depict a figurative mass in front of a muted background. By using an impasto technique, the material is pushed to its extreme and blurs our reading of painting and sculpture. Confronted with the sheer physicality of the painting as an object, the depicted subject takes on its own life and existence.