British artist Martin Maloney began his studies at the University of Sussex, continued at the famous London St. Martin’s School of Art and Design, the New York School of Visual Arts and University of London (Goldsmiths College).
Maloney defines his works as a tribute to ordinary people, conducting a social study of the world around him. In the caricature and sometimes absurdity of his works lies an accurate sense of our time. At the same time, his work is not just a sketchy survey of modern life. It is rather a contemporary adaptation of genre and traditions of portrait painting peculiar to such classics of world art history as Poussin, Watteau, and Vermeer.
The organicity and immediacy of Maloney’s paintings often incite critics to refer his work to infantile or naive art. And artist takes it as a compliment: “With this they want to say: “We admire your ability to easily and effortlessly “breathe life” through figurative elements into the most complex color ratios that are characteristic of abstract painting in the first place. We are delighted by your focus on everyday, but very important details, which you show the viewer simply and naturally. We are captivated by your directness and grateful for the undisguised pleasure you share in your work.”
And indeed, it is hardly possible to find a photographic resemblance in Maloney’s portraits – the artist sets a different target himself. Abstracted from reality, he overcomes the boundaries of figurative art set by the genre of portraiture. Large monochrome details of the canvas, executed in luminous, bright, contrasting colors, are combined with ornamental fragments: elements of clothing often echo the landscapes and turn the picture into a balanced pictorial field.
Since 2000, in parallel to painting, the artist starts working with the technique of collage. Created with thousands of colored adhesive pieces of vinyl, his portraits and landscapes are transformed into a vibrating surface, similar to Vrubel’s “crystalline” painting. Maloney calls his creative style “the language of expressive painting. The palette of clear and light colors, the liberty of color combinations, free and loose drawing, and patterns – behind it all one can see a contemporary embodiment of the Matisse tradition and the energy of Munch’s canvases.
Public collections include
The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Fundacion La Caixa (Madrid, Spain)
Bonnier Collection (Stockholm, Sweden)
SELECTED SOLO AND GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Kunsthalle Mannheim („Neue Kunsthalle 1V: Direct Painting”, Mannheim,
Royal Academy of Arts (London, UK), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin, Germany)
Brooklyn Museum of Art (New York, NY, USA) (“Sensation, Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection”, 1997)