Month: December 2016

Spectre-Bark – Anthony Catania

In his fourth solo exhibition, Maltese artist Anthony Catania turns his attention to spectres of the sea; images of ghost ships and lost barks that wander through stormy and quiet waters seeking refuge from their inevitable fate. Charon Galleon, 2009
The works are inspired by S. T. Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and legends of the Flying Dutchman, with the recurring image of the albatross haunting many of the works.
Ghostly abandoned ships roam these dark canvases, their sails and masts tattered, webbed and skeletal. Alone in the untamed fury and wrath of the sea, or alternatively the deceptive eerie stillness of its calm surface, these spectral vessels are doomed to sail the tired waters of these canvases eternally.
Lost, like the souls of their doomed crew, the barks’ only company is that of the omnipresent albatross. Depicted as a swastika-shaped dancer flexing its limbs in a demonic pre-kill ritual, the albatross enacts its curse on these ill-fated ghost ships. Black Blood, 2004
Alternatively, the bird is transformed into an almost maternal presence, enveloping the child-like craft in its treacherous embrace while its speared beak hovers menacingly between its arms. In these paintings the albatross conquers sea and sky as it also engulfs the canvas in its immense overarching wings.
Inspired by literary motifs, Catania’s latest works continue in the strong tradition of his past three exhibitions which refer the viewer to Greek and Nordic mythology, Dante’s Inferno and the Germanic legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In Spectre-Bark the artist’s skill is once more applied not simply to breathing visual life into the verses he alludes to, but more importantly to conceiving of them anew in the unique and playful manner that we have now come to associate with his work.
Marija Grech Rust Cry
‘Spectre-Bark’ – Art Exhibition by Anthony Catania will be open between Friday, 11 September 2009 until Sunday, 25 October 2009 at Malta Maritime Museum

Categories: Art