Art has always been a driving force in my life. My ambition has always been to develop my skills and enhance my sensibility towards design and colour. The turning point of my artistic development and maturity came soon after I completed my specialisation in art education at the University of Malta. The four-year course scholarship at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Pietro Vannucci, profoundly changed my thoughts and modalities of work. I delved into an introspective study which enabled me to create new foundations of thoughts and concepts about art congruent with my true and genuine nature. The teaching methods applied at the accademy were quite progressive and these favoured me in developing an inquisitive and auto-critical approach in terms of my artistic development. Studies in philosophy, aesthetics and literature helped me to mature and give consistency and meaning to my work. Initially, symbolism was much present in my art. Great concern was given to the powerful and emotive qualities of colour in expressing visually the idea of spirituality. Colour was loaded with meaning, and thus used as a metaphor of what concerns the earthly, mystical, transcendental or metaphysical. In time, my compositions became less decorative and increasingly simple, essential and geometrical. Because of my urge to present an art which is more pure, spiritual and immaterial, the themes of my paintings became less illustrative. In fact, interest gradually diverted towards non-figurative or abstract art. I started to think of working for art’s sake and pure poetry, where subject matter or content became less relevant. In this field, my art was definitely influenced by artists like Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Nicholas de Stael, whom I admire for their mastery of colour. Colour gradually became my preferred medium in acquainting myself with a purer form of art. Lines and contours recurred less often in the modalities of my new works. I became more attracted towards the expansion, the extension and the vibration of colours, the sense of freedom they convey and their perceptual mobility. I started to conceive the variety and multiplicity of colours as different pre-psychological expanses or as entities that arouse specific associative ideas. Red and yellow, for example, convey the idea of sites radiating heat. Blue, on the other hand, has no dimensions. At most, it suggests the sea and the sky and is the most intangible and abstract entity in living nature. My native island of Gozo, of course, plays an important role in my art. The geographical limits, the confined lands, the visible stratification of our rocks and the sumptuous and sharp horizons that hint the vastness of the sea, all influence me in the structural and geometrical organisation of my abstract compositions. On the other hand, the brilliant, vibrant and contrasting colours perceived in the local environment determine my choice of colours. What I aim for is to create spatial and chromatic arrangements that help in conveying dialectical relations, such as the finite and the infinite, confinement and freedom, the part and the whole, fragmentation and unity, the visible and the invisible, the material and the immaterial. My attention, occasionally, shifts to the illustration of local scenes. Sunsets and night scenes are my favourite illustrative themes, since these best convey the dialectic of light and dark. I seldom focus on the illustration of natural details and particulars. Whatever the theme or content of my works, my intent is always to represent the essence of spiritual energy that comes from deep inside. Forms and colours establish a direct relationship with my inner emotions, revealing the relative state of mind. You, as an active participant, are invited to relate with my compositions and interpret them accordingly. I thank you for showing interest in my art, and hope you enjoy viewing my works.
Biography: Christopher Saliba is a graduate B. Educ. Art honours from the University of Malta. There he studied under renowned artists Harry Alden and Anton Aguis. In 1997 he was granted a four-year scholarship to the Accademia di Belle Arti "Pietro Vannucci" in Perugia, where he studied at the Cattedra di Pittura under Professor Sauro Cardinali. In June 2001, he presented his dissertation, La Poetica del Sublime, and graduated with distinction. Christopher Saliba studied painting, sculpture and etching in depth. His favourite mediums are oils and acrylics. He achieved distinguished results in the fields of Aesthetics, Anatomy, History of Art and Psychology of Perception. The period he spent in Italy enabled Christopher Saliba to imbibe the current trends in art. He took part in collective exhibitions and produced various installations. He was able to travel a lot, and was profoundly influenced by the art of the region. The medieval maestros of Umbria, Perugino, Piero della Francesca as well as Alberto Burri are a guiding light in his art. Other artists like Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Nicholas de St?el influenced his art. The distance from home enabled Christopher Saliba to appreciate more the unique values and the richness of his native culture. After all, art has no cultural or geographic confines or barriers. Presently, Chris lives in Nadur, Gozo, Malta. He has resumed his work as a teacher and teaches art at Sir Wistin Camilleri School of Art in Ghajnsielem, Gozo Malta.
Site: Christopher Saliba
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