The Malta Independent 22 July 2024, Monday
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Maltese Artist currently exhibiting in New York

Malta Independent Sunday, 28 December 2008, 00:00 Last update: about 11 years ago

“I would like to think that I am being faithful to those old fresco painters, who were of course ‘modern’ in their days uniting technique and feeling, careful observation of the world around them with fading but still living traditions of an art that must go back to the painters on the walls of caves thousands of years ago” – Goxwa Borg.

Disappointed with the local art scene and intuitive that had she to remain here she risked losing herself for her doppelganger, Goxwa Borg left Malta to study at St Martin’s School of Art in London, and then at Emerson College, Boston. After a number of years in the US she moved to Paris. That city of art was not easy for a young woman. Many artists dream to find good galleries to exhibit in, but the Gallerists have seen it all before. The good ones have their hands on the pulse of the art-loving cognoscenti: they are sophisticated, sometimes blasé; but always acutely discerning. Yet Goxwa persisted. She worked hard and seriously often in straightened circumstances, slowly developed her vision and technique (using encaustic and recalling the Fayyum portraits) and eventually a perceptive Gallerist in the sixth Arrondisement (where many of the top Art Galleries are located) saw her potential and offered her a show. As Olivier Renault notes, when people pass by her work, they stop and look – and in a city where visual stimulation is the currency of existence.

Since then Goxwa has been sought out by Art Galleries in Paris as well as in New York, where she is currently holding her fourth one-woman US exhibition at Axelle Fine Arts, apart from some 10 one-woman shows in Paris and elsewhere. Her exhibitions are normally sell outs: an average price for a small canvass is in the region of 15,000 euros. Is Goxwa Borg a Maltese artist or a Parisian one? She is neither but she belongs to both. She has transcended one to make herself, and is therefore not a hyphenated identity. She has her own vision but she approaches her sources from her own perspective. She leaves from her sources, including Valletta her natal city, but does not inhabit her natal land. Yet perhaps her island is still there, its walls and contours seen from the sea in the mists of her memories and in the sketches she makes on her yearly visits to transform them into “something rich and strange...”

Dr Paul Sant Cassia

Goxwa Borg’s exhibition is being held at Axelle Fine Arts 547 w. 20th St. New York, NY 10011 until 4 January. Website:

• Dr Paul Sant Cassia

Reader in the Department of Anthropology and member of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Durham University, UK. Anthropology of Mediterranean societies.

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