Not just a poser | Matthew Attard

Up-and-coming Maltese artist Matthew Attard speaks to us ahead of his upcoming exhibition, ‘You’re a Poser!’, which will be taking place at the Galerie Canal.

Matthew Attard
Matthew Attard

How would you say your artistic style has developed ever since you moved away from Malta? Has living away from the Maltese scene influenced you in a very tangible way? If so, how so?

I don’t really think we can speak about a development of artistic style, but more of a visual research. I believe myself to still be at the early stages of it all, and hope to develop much further. Living in an international scene obviously facilitated the first-hand experience of certain events, but still I think in today’s world stimulation and interest can be accessible from anywhere.

What are some of the key things you’ve learnt over the last few years as an artist?

As an artist I probably learnt not to try to be one. I’m trying to learn how to focus on projects to develop instead.

How do you negotiate the link between drawing and sculpture? At what point did you realise that this ‘tension’ between forms would inform your subsequent work?

I don’t think there was a definite point of ‘realisation’. The interest in ‘drawing’ in space automatically led to use the current ‘sculptural’ forms, and everything developed from there.

How would you say your work responds to the exigencies of contemporary culture? Are you reacting to anything in particular?

I find contemporary culture very difficult to define at this moment in time, so understanding its exigencies is even more difficult. I prefer to look at fragments of it which interest me, especially those coming from outside the contemporary art world. I try to observe things and then show them for observation.

You still retain a connection to Malta – in fact, this latest exhibition is supported by the Malta Arts Fund – do you feel that you’re still ‘representing’ Malta in any real way? And what advice would you give to Maltese artists who want to expand beyond our shores?

Yes, I still retain a connection with Malta. I always will, it is the context where I come from and I am very grateful for any support. Regarding the question whether I represent Malta, that is a bit different in this context. I think that the art world is not similar to something like sport competitions, like the Olympics or the World Cup. Of course it would differ should there for example be a national pavilion at some Biennale. As to advice, I think I am too young to be able to dispense adequate advice. I probably made a number of mistakes along the way myself… but anyone who would want to expand beyond our shores should just go for it – there is nothing to lose.

Matthew Attard is also represented by Galleria Michela Rizzo in Venice. A show entitled In Between is dedicated to him and runs until May 25. The show was supported by the Malta Arts Fund.