The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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A collection of charcoal drawings and hand-crafted objects

Sunday, 6 November 2022, 09:26 Last update: about 24 days ago

A collection of charcoal drawings and hand-crafted objects by multi-disciplinary artist CO-MA will be presented at Green Shutters Pop-Up Space in Floriana until 3 December. Opening on the evening of 11 November and curated by gallerist Lily Agius, this will be the artist's second solo show, however, this time with the addition of lamps and hand-crafted furniture that he has been working on this year.

CO-MA's desire to experiment is at the forefront of his art practice. Replacing his paintbrush for sticks of charcoal and "using cheap, glittery make-up brushes" in 2019, he began creating strikingly vivid portraits, which mesh desolate bodies and figures in decay with mystical, otherworldly overtones. His work has no frills but contrasts living in the world of black and white.

"Charcoal gives me freedom to have a full range of control to play with values, textures and intricate details. I'm drawn to the medium because it feels natural, especially when dealing with skin textures," CO-MA explained.

"The collection of drawings I will present at Green Shutters are not a series, but they are made from the same place. I work quite intuitively - they're all coming from a want to experiment and explore the process."

The self-taught and self-proclaimed anti-social artist spends his days in his art studio, where he worked on these monochromatic pieces as well as the objects that will also be exhibited at the gallery, which include bespoke, up-cycled lamps and furniture.

Besides being a visual artist, CO-MA is also a "collector of nice things" which are broken down into their primary parts and find themselves in the new objects that he builds.

"I had 10 boxes of things I've collected throughout the year: parts from cars, fridges, washing machines, an antique hose, doors and windows that are 300 years old," the artist explained.

The result are pieces that are at once functional, intriguing and otherworldly. And while the paintings and objects are not intentionally connecting, they are undeniably distinct to CO-MA's eye.

"In this show, we're pulling together CO-MA's different skills into one space. The furniture is just as crude as his art. It's real, uninhibited and yet still respectful to the mediums being used," Lily Agius, Green Shutters gallerist added.

"The lamps for example are fun yet laborious, playful yet strange. CO-MA likes to challenge himself, and audiences will be able to experience this at the show."

Green Shutters itself is not a typical formulated gallery, it's a raw space, which will work in favour of the art. It's about the ambience and harmony between the space and the work as a whole. I want to demonstrate that art can define or make a room, it's not just static pieces to hang on your wall, it's something to discuss!" she added.

 


"A collection of charcoal drawings and objects" by CO-MA will open on 11 November and run until 3 December. Green Shutters is located at 27 Triq San Frangisk, Floriana. For more information see www.coma-artist.com and follow Lily Agius Gallery on Instagram and Facebook. 


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