Antony Micallef (B. 1975)

Antony Micallef (B. 1975)


Antony Micallef (b. 1975, Swindon, UK) is a British contemporary artist working in London. He was notably taught by the austere landscape painter John Virtue, who was taught by the postwar painter Frank Auerbach.

Described as a modern expressionist, Micallef roots his work in social commentary and self-examination. Known for his visually charged figure paintings, he uses oil paint in a groundbreaking way; he is able to literally sculpt and form the paint to reconfigure the parameters of what an oil painting can be. Combined with his impasto and layering techniques, the oil paint is pushed to its extreme and blurs our reading of painting and sculpture.

Micallef’s recent paintings are created using these unique methods where the oil is changed into a material to realise a new form of physical embodiment. For example, he depicts St Longinus, the Roman soldier who pierced Christ, in such a way to actively help narrate the contradictory emotions within the character. The setting and outer layers of paint are used to frame and construct the centralised composition. Paint is turned into a material that can be weaved and mosaicked in a way that echoes the leather, armour, and different winding floral textures. Micallef loves the idea of pushing oil paint to its limits. There is something very tangible about this earthy medium that comes from minerals he finds positively intoxicating.

To mold and make the paint behave in unconventional and eccentric ways, the process used to craft the different elements of these paintings can take years to produce as the drying time for oil takes so long. These paintings are made after years of crafting and cultivating different elements of oil and fusing them together. Even pieces of vintage oil paint that have been scraped from the studio walls and floors are recycled and once again contorted and recast into a new narrative, bringing the cycle of creativity full circle.

Micallef was selected as one of Louis Vuitton’s Visionaries and took part in the world tour of 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries, which ran from 2021–22. His paintings feature in collections across the world with two pieces in the permanent collection of the Design Museum in London. He has also exhibited in group shows in prominent institutions such as The National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Academy, Tate Britain, and the ICA.


News & Press

29 May 2024

Newport Street Gallery hosts “Dominion” exhibition in London featuring British artist Antony Micallef 

The Newport Street Gallery in London will host the “Dominion” exhibition from May 24th to September 1st, 202...

25 May 2016

SCMP | Solo Hong Kong exhibition for British paint-throwing artist

Antony Micallef, winner of second place at the prestigious BP Portrait Award in 2000, likens his practice to trying to c...

26 May 2016

Time Out Hong Kong | Raw Intent

Time Out Hong Kong | 18-31 May 2016 | Art and Culture | ‘Raw Talent’ | by Hannah Hodson From working in a shed in the ba...

18 Sep 2015

Artron|2015 West Bund Art & Design major works Preview