LONDON.-Antony Micallefs LA exhibition is being organised by Lazarides Gallery, famous for spotting and promoting the next generation of art stars. Lazarides 2006 LA show featured new works by Banksy, and was a huge success with Hollywoods A List as well as 70,000 Angelenos who queued round several blocks to catch the show during its 3 days run. The exhibition will be on view 1930 September 2007.
Micallef is the UKs most promising young painter, and his work is already in huge demand amongst discerning international collectors. Micallefs work is in some of the most prestigious private art collections including Damien Hirsts, and he is much in demand amongst the music and film world featuring in the collections of Jude Law, Jared Leto, Michael Stipe and Robbie Williams. Last year his show at the Lazarides Gallery sold-out within 30 minutes of opening, and in Spring 2007, his work graced the cover of a Sothebys Contemporary Sale catalogue, resulting in a bidding war and going on to sell for over three times its estimate.
Micallefs commercial success is ironic as his practice is based in a deep-rooted scepticism about the consumerism and brands that seek to dominate our life. He brings a classically trained draughtsmans perfectionism and a love of Old Masters such as Caravaggio, to the icons of modern day life, juxtaposing expressive lines and exquisite shading and brushstrokes, with pastel pop colours and guns. In Twenty-First Century Love (illustrated above right) Micallef presents an akward teenage angel weighed down by logos, her body exploding in shades of pink and blue. Forced to become a pilot for all her brands, she opens her hands to us in supplication.
For his first exhibition in LA, Micallef will present new work including Peacekeeper (illustrated above left), an arresting image of an armed soldier, in a pastel uniform. Its an incongruous pairing of the violent and the delicate, all beautifully painted. The new show will explore Micallefs fascination with contemporary religion, gun culture and the fate of our children. His practice could be summarised as a Critical Pop that exposes the dark and troubling underbelly beneath our sugar-coated consumer society.
Micallef will be presenting new paintings in Self and Other: Portraits from Asia and Europe a major Asia-Europe Museum Network group exhibition that will tour some of the worlds most prestigious art galleries from September 2008.