Stacking-small Loading…

Antony Micallef

British ; English (b. 1975)

Antony Micallef (born 1975 in Swindon) is an English contemporary artist and painter.Antony Micallef appeared on the British art scene in 2000, winning second prize in the BP Portrait Award competition. Since then, his mix of political imagery fused with contemporary expressionism has won him worldwide acclaim.Recent exhibitions include group shows at the Royal Academy and the Tate Britain.His paintings examine the contemporary relationship with consumerism and branding among other themes. His work concerns itself with what he sees as the ‘frivolities’ of pop culture in a process that’s been dubbed ‘critical pop’.

Artist Info

Biography from Wikipedia

Antony Micallef
Antony Micallef.jpg
Born 1975 (1975)
Swindon, England
Nationality English
Known for Artist

Antony Micallef (born 1975 in Swindon) is an English contemporary artist and painter.

Antony Micallef appeared on the British art scene in 2000, winning second prize in the BP Portrait Award competition.[1] Since then, his mix of political imagery fused with contemporary expressionism has won him worldwide acclaim.

Recent exhibitions include group shows at the Royal Academy and the Tate Britain.[2]

His paintings examine the contemporary relationship with consumerism and branding among other themes. His work concerns itself with what he sees as the ‘frivolities’ of pop culture in a process that’s been dubbed ‘critical pop’.[3]


Born in Swindon, England and a graduate in Fine Arts from the University of Plymouth, some of Micallef's work illustrates many contemporary cultural aspects and connects them with the human experience.

His use of neutral colors and depictions of the human form delve beyond pop culture and bring to the surface many of the things that operate underneath the cultural construct.

Aspects of Micallef's work examines our dichotomous relationship with consumerism, questioning how we can despise multi-national brands yet still allow ourselves to be seduced by them. He frequently uses the union of two opposites to make an intriguing chemistry.

Micallef's practice has been summarized as 'critical pop', exposing the darker side of our consumerist society and the human condition.

His painting style has been compared to Francis Bacon and is seen as an amalgamation of influences from the old masters such as Caravaggio and Velázquez to more modern contemporary photographers and graphic artists.

His depiction of the human body and mark making echo his teachings from John Virtue, a former student of Frank Auerbach. The rawness of expressionistic painterly marks is a stark contrast to the more graphic elements which surfaces throughout his work.

From 18 June 2007 Sotheby's catalogue:

Having won second prize in the BP/Amoco Portrait of the Year awards in 2000, Anthony Micallef moved away from strict portraiture preferring to combine his exquisite draughtsmanship with a dark and passionate exploration of colour and contemporary expressionism as a means of dissecting what he sees as the frivolities of pop culture. He says, "The trouble with pop imagery is that it doesn’t really go deeper than the surface, you have to drag it down and challenge it to make it interesting. When you put two contrasting images together it causes friction and that is the bit I’m interested in." In the present work, the dark, Bacon-esque smears to the face conjure unlooked for associations when combined with the delicately alluring roses, the juxtaposition revealing at once the saccharine seduction of colourful pop imagery and consumerism alongside its dark and troubling underbelly. This complexity and brutal beauty explain why Anthony Micallef has become one of the most promising young artists working in Britain today.[4]

In 2012 to go alongside the AKA Peace Exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) [5] Art Below showcased selected works from the AKA Peace series on the London Underground including Micallef's. "AKA Peace" originally conceived by photographer Bran Symondson and now curated by artist Jake Chapman, is an exhibition of new works made specially for The Peace One Day Project 2012, bringing together a group of Contemporary Artists, all of whom agreed to transform a decommissioned AK-47 assault rifle, refashioning into artworks.[6]

Penguin Books Cover[edit]

Antony Micallef in 2017 has had his work selected for the penguin books publishing of Albert Camus 'The Outsider' for its front cover.

Social Media[edit]

Antony Micaellef embraces social media and the ability to get his artwork out on mass but also rails against the selfie edited life portrayed in most social platforms, his portraits looks to strip past those same edited portrayals to expose the raw nature of self.[1][2]


London Underground had commissioned Micallef for a piece of artwork to depict one of the stations of the cross however in the last minute became subject to censorship for the use of the tagline 'kill your idol' found in the artwork.

"To my dismay I found out at the last minute the London Underground have decided to pull the piece from the show apparently because of the title ‘Kill your idol’ in the middle of the panel in the painting."[3]

Micallef's most recent controversial piece is the political satire of Donald trump using cigarette packets as his canvas, rendering the Republican nominee now President on the front of a cigarette packet bearing the now familiar "Smoking kills" tagline.

Micallef, is bringing home the threat that Trump poses to society. As he explains, "I thought a warning sign of the imminent danger of a narcissistic sociopath fitted aptly into the concept."[7] having been displayed as part of the group show the controversial 'Why I Want To Fuck Donald Trump' exhibition at New York’s Joshua Liner Gallery in 2016.[8]

The Trump Pieces by Antony Micallef had been used for both the protest Marches In L.A and In Washington D.C for the Women's March after the Inauguration of the 45th President.

The Image Had also been used for the Placebo Concert in Mexico 2017, again in protest to the New president. Also a fake news story image of the 43rd President George Bush painting the image had gone viral and used in the publication of the Big Issue.

Critical Reception[edit]

Paul Moorhouse the Head of Collection Displays (Victorian to Contemporary) and Senior Curator 20th Century Collections at the national portrait gallery essay 'The Brutality of Appearance: Antony Micallef’s Self-Portraits' , explores the physicality, the fleshliness and violence of Micallef's work,

"While maintaining an illusionistic intimation of space and background, his portraits present a figure as if it has been subjected to an intense trauma"[4] all the while contextulising him within the canon of art history and the painted portrait.

In 2011 a piece by Andrew Perry for Telegraph said "Antony Micallef’s riotous paintings are a gleeful attack on consumerism."[9] Also calling Antony "one of Britain’s most electrifying young painters".[9]

In a piece by editor Dylan Jones of GQ magazine in 2015 Antony is hailed to "change the face of modern portraiture".[10] the piece describes Antony and his work as raw and painterly giving particular praise to the honesty of his portraits and the connection between him and the painter Frank Auerbach stating,

"Surely if there is a man to whom Auerbach should pass his torch then it is Micallef".[10]

Artist Statement[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2016, Pearl Lam, Raw Intent, Pedder Building Space, Hong Kong, China
  • 2015, Lazarides, Self, Rathbourne, London, UK[12]
  • 2012, Lazarides, A Little Piece of Me, The Outsiders London, UK
  • 2011, Lazarides, Happy Deep Inside My Heart, Rathbourne, London, UK
  • 2009, Lazarides, Becoming Animal, Rathbourne, London, UK
  • 2007, Lazarides, Impure Idols, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2006, Lazarides, It’s A Wonderful World, London, UK
  • 2006, Eyestorm, Antony Micallef, Milian, Italy
  • 2005, National Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria

Selected Group Exhibitions[edit]

  • 2017, Art Busan, Korea
  • 2017, Nottingham Castle Museum, Reportrait, Nottingham, UK
  • 2017, Pearl Lam, Art Brussels, Belgium
  • 2017, Pearl Lam, Art Basel, Hong Kong, China
  • 2017, Pearl Lam, Art stage, Singapore, Malaysia
  • 2016, Pearl Lam, Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai, China
  • 2016, Josh Linar Galley, Why I Want to Fuck Donald Trump, New York, USA
  • 2016, Pearl Lam, Art stage, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 2016, Royal College of Art, Secret Postcard Exhibition, (charity supporting younger artists) UK
  • 2016, Pearl Lam, Art Basel, Hong Kong, China
  • 2016, Pearl Lam, Art stage Singapore, Malaysia
  • 2015, Pearl Lam, Art Seoul, South Korea
  • 2015, Pearl Lam, Expo Chicago, USA
  • 2015, Pearl Lam, Sydney Contemporary, Australia
  • 2015, Pearl Lam, West Bund Art Centre, Shanghai, China
  • 2015, Pearl Lam, Harpers Bazaar Indonesia Art Fair, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 2014, Royal Academy, Royal Academy Summer Show, London, UK
  • 2014, Kill your Idol, St Marylebone Parish Church, London, UK
  • 2014, Dallas Contemporary, MTV RE:DEFINE, Goss Micheal Foundation, Dallas, USA
  • 2014, Lazarides, Art14 London, London, UK
  • 2013, Copelouzos Familay Art Museum, Athens, Greece
  • 2013, National Museum of Warsaw, Nowa Sztuka, Poland
  • 2013, Saatchi Gallery, Artwars, London, UK
  • 2012, Lazarides, Pop-up, The Old Vic Tunnels, Bedlam, London, UK[13]
  • 2012, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Peace One Day, London, UK
  • 2011, Bertrand & Gruner, Cabinet de Curiosities, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2011, Lazarides Pop-up, Old Vic Tunnels, Minotaur, London, UK[14]
  • 2010, Lazarides, Hells Half Acre Show, Old Vic Tunnels, London, UK[15]
  • 2010, Lazarides, Eurotrash, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2009, Tunnel 228, London, UK
    Antony Micallef participates in Tunnel 228, a show featuring over 20 artists and the theatre company Punchdrunk. A Metropolis-inspired exhibition with a mixture of art and live performance by actors. Located in the tunnels off Leake Street underneath Waterloo station and directed by Kevin Spacey.
  • 2009, UN and Roddick Foundation, Journey, Washington Place, New York ,USA
  • 2009, Lazarides, Grow Up, London, UK[16]
  • 2008 -2009, Tate Britain, London, UK
    Antony Micallef along with Paula Rego and Mark Hearld were invited to take part in the 50th anniversary celebration of the famous Curwen Studios. To commemorate the occasion they exhibited a special limited edition lithograph print in the Tate Britain (Goodison Room).
  • 2008, The Royal Academy GSK Contemporary, London, UK
    Antony Micallef was invited by the RA to take part in a group show showcasing new contemporary artists. Displaying 4 bronze nickel-plated 13 ft sculptures in the forecourt (Burlington Gardens). Parasite. Also displaying three meter square paintings inside the academy.
  • 2008, Lazarides Pop-up, The Outsiders New York, New York, USA
  • 2008, The Outsiders, Outsiders, London, UK
  • 2007, Santa's Ghetto Bethlehem, Manger Square, Palestine
    Micallef participated in Santa's Ghetto in Bethlehem, a group show with over 30 international artists that raised almost $1 million to provide funding for local students attending Dar a-Kalima College, the only dedicated arts university in the Middle East. From this exhibition Micallef produced a body of work documenting his time spent behind the wall.
  • 2006, Arcuate Arte Contemporaneo, Another Fucking Collective, Mexico
  • 2006, National Portrait Gallery, Mystery Portrait Exhibition, London, UK
  • 2005, ManHan Gallery, 44 Boards: Human Rights Coalition, Ohio, USA
  • 2005, Alphabet Gallery, How I learned to Stop Working and Love the Bomb, London, UK
  • 2005, Millenaris Park, Budapest, Hungary
    Micallef represented the UK in an international exhibition looking at urban counterculture. Micallef was invited by the directors of Millenaris Park, a government-funded arts organization to paint on a Trabant car, the icon of the communist era.
  • 2006, 'Eyestorm', Milan, Italy
    Antony Micallef presents a sell-out solo exhibition in the heart of Milan, Italy. The exhibition showcases a series of specially commissioned limited edition lithograph prints. As well as being exhibited in Milan the prints were also on show at the British Embassy in Florence alongside Damien Hirst, Peter Blake, and Richard Davidson.
  • 2004, A.D Gallery, California, USA
  • 2000, The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
    Antony Micallef wins second prize in the BP Portrait Award competition the first time he enters. This is seen as the catalyst for his future career.

Press and Publication[edit]

  • 2017, Format Magazine, Antony Micallef Paints Raw, Impatient Self Portraits
  • 2017,, Reportrait
  • 2017, The Big Issue, Tipping Point
  • 2017, Hunger Magazine
  • 2017, Paul Moorhouse, The Brutality of Appearance
  • 2017, CBC News, Antony Micallef Trump Cigarettes
  • 2017, Russia Today, A Portrait of the President
  • 2017, Vogue, Women's March
  • 2017, Italian Vogue, Art Strike Against Trump
  • 2016, GQ Magazine, Will the Next Andy Warhol be a Robot?, by Antony Micallef
  • 2016, Document Journal NYC, A Warning to the World from Antony Micallef
  • 2016, HOW Literary Journal, Front Cover
  • 2016, GQ Magazine, Interview Antony Micallef, Why Dropping Art History A Level is a Mistake
  • 2016, ID Magazine, Antony Micallef Paints Donald Trump
  • 2016, GQ Magazine, The Man Who Destroyed Donald Trump With A Cigarette Packet
  • 2016, Apollo Magazine, The Five Key Works of Donaldism
  • 2016, Modern Painters, Top 500 Galleries Pearl Lam
  • 2016, Art Market Magazine, Front Cover
  • 2016,, Raw Intent Interview
  • 2016, Platinum Magazine, Raw Intent
  • 2016, FAD Magazine, Raw Intent
  • 2016,, Raw Intent Pearl Lam Galleries
  • 2016, RTHK, Raw Intent
  • 2016, Wallpaper Magazine, Highlights from Art Basel Hong Kong
  • 2016,, Raw Intent
  • 2016, South China Morning Post, Raw Intent
  • 2016, Time Out Hong Kong, Raw Intent
  • 2016, The Ming Pao Daily, Raw Intent
  • 2016,, Antony Micallef Contemporary Expressionist
  • 2016, Studio and Gallery Magazine, Reflecting the Selfie
  • 2016, ART SY, Front Cover
  • 2016, National Portrait Gallery, BP Portrait Award
  • 2016, Alumni Spotlight Plymouth, Antony Micallef
  • 2015,, Antony Micallef Sculptures
  • 2015, Twin Magazine, The Mighty Marlene
  • 2015, GQ Magazine, Antony Micallef Will Change the Face of Modern Portraiture
  • 2015, F5 Magazine, Antony Micallef
  • 2015, PUBLIC ART, Antony Micallef
  • 2015, Debonair Magazine, Local Boy Made Good
  • 2015, Vogue Japan, Antony Bronze Sculpture
  • 2015, Air Magazine, Express Yourself
  • 2015, Huffington Post, Note to SELFie
  • 2015, The Upcoming, Self at Lazarides
  • 2015, Schön!, Interview Antony Micallef
  • 2015, Wall Street International, Antony Micallef Self
  • 2015, Resident Magazine, Sense of Self
  • 2015,, What's my Weekend
  • 2015,, Inner Self Antony
  • 2015,, Selfie Backlash
  • 2015, BBC Bob Elms Show, Interview Self
  • 2015, Russia Today, Selfie Culture and the Role of the Self Portrait
  • 2015, GQ Magazine, The Divided Self
  • 2015,, The Man Begind the Mark
  • 2014, Financial Times, Generals Son Talks Trash
  • 2014, The Guardian, Pop Idol Jesus
  • 2014, CBSNEWS, Art Scene gets Catty
  • 2013, National Portrait Gallery, 500 Portraits
  • 2013, Vogue Paris, Rough Diamond
  • 2013, BBC Radio 4, Art for Investment
  • 2012,, Sweet Paris Collection
  • 2012, Financial Times, Half Dracula, Half Tarintino, Old Vic Tunnels
  • 2012,, Deadly AK-47 gets a Makeover
  • 2012, Kensington and Chelsea Review, A Piece for Peace
  • 2011,, Happy Deep Inside My Heart
  • 2011, i-D Magazine, Happy Deep Inside My Heart
  • 2011, Phaidon, Music as Muse
  • 2013, BBC Radio 4, Art for Investment
  • 2007, Lazarides, Antony Micallef Hardcover
  • 2006, Lazarides, It's a Wonderful World Hardcover
  • 2002, The Face, Pink Hearts and Mutant Cats
  • 2000, Blue Print, Front Cover
  • 2000, Art Review, Antony Micallef Profile


  1. ^ "Antony Micallef overview",
  2. ^ Schonberger, Nick; Cedar, Pasori (June 1, 2012). "25 Young Painters You Need To Know". Complex Magazine. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Antony Micallef on the music that inspires his work.", September 2011.
  4. ^ "Antony Micallef - News". Archived from the original on 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  5. ^ "Peace One Day’s 2012 Art Project". 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  6. ^ "AKA BELOW". 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  7. ^ "The man who destroyed Donald Trump with a cigarette packet". British GQ. Retrieved 2017-05-27. 
  8. ^ "antony micallef paints donald trump’s face on the front of cigarette packets for latest group exhibition | read | i-D". i-D. Retrieved 2017-05-27. 
  9. ^ a b "Antony Micallef - Happy Deep Inside My Heart: Lazarides Gallery". Retrieved 2017-05-27. 
  10. ^ a b Jones, Dylan. "Antony Micallef will change the face of modern portraiture". British GQ. Retrieved 2017-05-27. 
  11. ^ a b c "Antony Micallef". Archived from the original on 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  12. ^ "Lazarides – Antony Micallef - Self". Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "Lazarides – Group Show - Bedlam". Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  14. ^ "Lazarides – Group Show - Minotaur". Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  15. ^ "Lazarides – Group Show - Hell's Half Acre". Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "Lazarides – Group Show - Grow Up". Retrieved 19 July 2017. 

External links[edit]

Scholarly Articles[edit]

Creative Commons License
Content from Wikipedia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
To the top