Photo by Joanna Demarco
Gabriel Buttigieg (b. 1993) is a prolific visual artist based in Malta, whose creative range spans from drawings and printmaking to vibrant explosive large-scale canvases. His artwork reflects primordial themes, often conceptualised within a Mediterranean or tribal context. Over the years, a gradual development has become evident in his art, which has moved from raw and provocative images of the body, apparent in his exhibitions such as ‘Paintings’ (MT), ‘Nudes’ (MT) and ‘The Droplet’ series (MT) to the existential depictions displayed in ‘Saudade’ (MT) and ‘The Beach’ (PL/MT). In his forthcoming exhibitions and projects in Italy, France, and The Netherlands, Buttigieg will explore the depths of decadence associated with totems and taboos, and the ecstasy linked with mythic creatures.
Gabriel Buttigieg has successfully read for a Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Malta. His dissertation explored the notion of death and its consequent anxiety, themes which are ever present in his visual art. He has also studied at the Faculty of Education, and is currently reading for a Masters in Fine Arts by Research at the University of Malta.
Dominated by memorable depictions of the human figure, it is characterised by what critics have described as paint exploding on canvas to limn the urgent, volcanic passions that engulf human relations. He started his artistic trajectory with a distinctly expressionist manner; since then, he has researched endlessly to hone a style which evolves with every exhibition and which is incontrovertibly his own.
Buttigieg confesses that behind his artistic drive is his fascination with sex, death and the transience of all things. This feeds his savage thirst – so palpable in his paintings – for the beauty and pleasures of nature and the body untrammelled by inhibitions. This is counterbalanced by a melancholic and more contemplative strain in his art – a sense of loss and longing for a primordial state of innocence, as well as disenchantment and disgust at the corruption and artificiality of contemporary humanity. This young artist’s worldview is darkened also by his existentialism and his belief in evolution and determinism.
Featured on Ocula through Valletta Contemporary Art & ArtzID
Nominated for 'Young Artist of the Year' award by Arts Council Malta.