My essentials: Gabriel Buttigieg’s cultural picks

No 57 | Gabriel Buttigieg, 29, Visual artist

Gabriel Buttigieg (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Gabriel Buttigieg (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

1. Book

I have just finished reading George Bataille’s ‘Erotism’. It is a wonderful book which explores some of my favourite themes, namely death and sensuality. The notion of taboo, the nature of sacrifice, and the role of language are also given due credence. By depicting famous individuals throughout history, from mystical ecstasy to prostitution, this book presents all the outlines themes.

2. Film

I cannot fail to mention ‘The Lighthouse’, directed by Robert Eggers, the same director of ‘The Witch’. I can safely say that this film was the one which I enjoyed most this year. I have always felt drawn towards psychological movies, thrillers with an underbelly of darkness and levels of symbolism. The psychological elements are evident in the interactions and the solitude of the protagonists, with a heavy atmosphere present throughout the film. I was enchanted by the mythic meanings and the sense of dread which was clearly evident. Despite being drawn to beauty, it is essential to make peace with its polarity, the shadow. And the screeching siren remains imprinted in my mind.

3. TV/Internet 

I do not particularly follow any social media influencer. However, my Insta accounts features food, chefs, winemakers, musician, and a couple of visual artists who speak my language. I follow Andy Hearnden, a notable chef, and I daily track Lenny Kravitz and his imitable style. On a local basis, I cannot fail to mention chef Yakov Debono’s wonderful recipes, and fashion designer Luke Azzopardi’s brilliant masterpieces.

4. Music

This is challenging! I am in love with music and I cannot choose. At times, I listen to Satie in the morning, moving on to Indie and alternative bands such as The Jesus and the Mary Chain and The Underground Youth, while showering half an hour later! At the studio, I could move on to ritualistic tunes such as Hidden Orchestra, while working, or upbeat tunes such as those of Nicholas Jaar and Moderat. When leaving the studio, I could switch to metal with Deftones. After a siesta, I could listen to Radiohead, while I ground myself. In the evenings, I once more switch to metal, with bands such as Doom or Stoner Metal, All of Them Witches and REZN. So, as you can see, it’s too difficult a choice!

5. Place

Italy, more specifically Sicily or the islands, and the Mediterranean in general. I also have a deep appreciation for Nordic countries and their wonderful history. However, I am happy with an espresso, a fish “al cartoccio”, a good bottle of wine, loads of fields, a dipping pool, some goats, a lot of dogs, a beautiful horse, in a small plot in Sicily. However, I cannot live without my Marshall speakers at full volume, as well as loads of other beautiful things. Of course, I would also need my studio where I can bare my soul.