Antony Micallef

After my tutorial with Jonathan Worth he made me realise that my opening statement is a bit full on. It’s forcing my ideas in the readers face without warming up to it. One way to tackle this is to back it up with information. I can make the claims I want as long as I have support. This is my opening statement.

When you think of consumerism what comes to mind? Coco-cola, Nike? These companies are poisoning our society with their values, in turn they are corrupting us individually. My project will tackle consumerism as a poison, using myself to represent “us” the consumer.

After hours of searching for consumerism quotes and reading papers on consumerism I didn’t find one supporting quote. So I decided to use an image to support my statement, I was getting frustrated that I knew there were practitioners tackling the effect global giants have on us but they weren’t talking about it. Their work seems to say more than they do. When Josie showed me the work of Antony Micallef I instantly knew his work was ideal. He uses the logos of the companies I use as examples in my opening statement. This on image particularly struck me as relevant to the Japanese themes and consumerism.

It’s a perfect example of consumerism being some sort of drug/poison as the girl appears mutilated/changed by the companies. However now my opening sentence needs reworking…

When you think of consumerism what comes to mind? Coco-cola, Disney? Antony Micallef’s work is an example of how these companies are feeding our society their values, in turn they are making us subdue consumers. My project will tackle consumerism as a poison, using myself to represent “us” the consumer.

There seems to be some reoccurring themes and imagery in your art that could possibly be seen as anti-capitalist or anti-war as well as a strong use of children.

A: Originally, I never set out to become a political artist, but I think that you can’t help but be affected by what goes on around you. We are fed a lot of these themes by the media and you have to react to it in some way. Maybe this is my personal reaction to what I see and hear. Many of my work may contain messages, but I have never wanted to try and preach that if you are into capitalism or consumerism, that this is a really bad thing. I have always said that I am just as guilty as the things and people I paint about; so in a way, it could be seen as my own self-loathing.


2 thoughts on “Antony Micallef

  1. Daisy – there’s lots of things out there in this vein – I can suggest some things, all reading not practitioners – all quite intensive

    e.g. Walter Benjamin (again) the idea of commodity culture as a death dream and also his Piece of the angel of history

    ” A Klee drawing named “Angelus Novus” shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe that keeps piling ruin upon ruin and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress. ”

    — Walter Benjamin,
    Ninth Thesis on the Philosophy of History

    I think that the Antony Micallef work you show above references the Klee Painting that Benjamin is writing about

    There is also this piece by Art Historian TJ Clark – but you’d probably need a tutorial on it. See :

    Click to access boundary2_30-1_clark.pdf

    Lastly, maybe JW has a point about the fierce-ness of your opening – in a way you have to “earn the right” to be so decisive.



    • Thanks Shaun, lots of research now which is always a good thing.

      My original opening statement was so indecisive I needed to be more agressive and be authoritative but I went too full on. Hopefully I have the right balance now 🙂

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