Cranfield meets Antony Micallef
It’s a sunny Wednesday morning in Notting Hill and the photographers and I pull up in a tree lined London Street. A tall, dark haired, smartly dressed man picking up his morning coffee is about to pass us in the street until we realise that this is the man we had come to meet. Coffee in hand, we are welcomed and led upstairs to his studio.
Antony Micallef instantly came across as a thoughtful and conscientious guy – asking us to take care not to disturb his neighbours by making too much noise as we carry our kit upstairs. In addition, he asks us to take care not to tread oil paint on the stairwell, and in his studio there is plenty of paint about…
With so many canvases leaning against all the walls, space is somewhat cramped in the hallway and we struggle to get all our photographic kit through the door. Antony leads us into the front room, his former bedroom, where he chooses to paint, as Anthony finds the light is much better here. The floor is strewn with a myriad of well trodden, wet and dry reddish flesh tones of oil paints mixed with deep reds and whites, scrapers, brushes of all sizes, artists’ books, a paint splattered radio and a single chair placed in front of his latest canvas.
Light streams through the large window onto the canvas he is working on and refracted in the rather decadent chandelier above our heads. The walls are covered with colourful brush marks and mini sketch canvases. I’m sure that some would describe it as a chaotic mess, whereas in a way, the whole space could be described as a living canvas.
We soon realised that this is a space that is of Antony’s making, we are in his world, a personal space where his creativity can live and breathe. Although we are invited into his world we feel that we are definitely outsiders looking in.
I really liked Antony’s honesty, he was definitely not one for mincing his words. A man and artist of utmost integrity which is clearly reflected in his search for artistic autonomy. He has turned down commissions from
A-list celebrities not with an egotistical arrogance but rather through a need for control of every brush or squeegee mark to be a creative extension of him and his thoughts.