Saturday, April 17, 2010

Review by Dr.Louis Lagana'

17 April 2010

Christopher Saliba is an artist who explores the unlimited possibilities abstract art could offer. Like other artists he underwent professional training in an academic art institution. In fact, during the years 1997 and 2001, he developed the technical skills in various mediums at the Accademia di Belle Arti Pietro Vannucci in Perugia, Italy. After his studies abroad, in 2002, Saliba held his first personal exhibition in Gozo, his birthplace. This is his 10th personal art show entitled Introspections.

Most of these works are not simply an abstracted re-interpretation of the visual sources that attract the artist but also an expression of the unconscious. I consider that Saliba’s latest works are a reflection of his inner vision and the spiritual condition of humankind, and therefore possess a significant symbolic content. In his latest collection of works Saliba focuses on the circular form as a major element within the composition. As stated by various psychoanalysts and art historians, the circle is a symbol of the psyche whereas the square and the rectangle are symbols of earthbound matter, of the body and reality. In his work Saliba does not make any distinction between these two primary forms. It is rather his urge to bring to consciousness the basic factors of life that really matters, symbolized by these primary forms. We know that art is not solely concerned with beauty or with aesthetic pleasure, that is, with images of objects that appear in our external world. Artists like Saliba also seek to express the non-objective work coming from the ‘inside’ world.

When we look closely at Christopher Saliba’s canvases we notice that there is always a point of departure: the exploration of light that manifests itself within organised structures or contrasting spaces. Dark and light blues, yellows, ochres and a range of reds dominate his rich palette.

Colour is freed from any objective context and becomes the subject in itself. Expansive colour fields are bound by crude but defined lines; imperfections, threads of light, scars and fissures of accumulated time are brushed into the layered medium.

Today the art of Christopher Saliba does not limit itself to the medium of painting. He also uses drawing, etching, sculpture, digital photography, installation and video art. He experiments continuously to pursue his life-long artistic journey of self-discovery and an aesthetic vision that mirrors the cultural values of contemporary society.

Introspections will run between 6 - 30 April at Auberge d’Italie, Merchants Street, Valletta. The exhibition, supported by APS Bank, Middlesea Valletta Life and Marsovin, will be open daily from 9am to 5pm. More information about the event is available on the artist’s website