Antoine Farrugia: ‘Everyone has experiences to share. I can learn something from everyone I meet’

Sculptor Antonine Farrugia, who uses limestone as the medium for his work, answers our Q&A

Antoine Farrugia (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Antoine Farrugia (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

Antoine Farrugia is a sculptor who hails from Mqabba. His primary driving force lies within the limestone medium; its various geological characteristics and pliability provide the momentum to give life to organic, undulating forms. The stillness and chastity of his sculptures catapult the viewer into a world of sensual forms that are so reminiscent of Farrugia’s oeuvre. His next solo exhibition ‘Xulliela Bajda’ will start on the 21 January and will be held at il-Kamra ta’ Fuq in Mqabba.  The exhibition will run till the 15 February

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I feed my cat. He wakes up when I wake up.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Not to repeat past mistakes.

What do you never leave the house without?

My mobile phone.

Pick three words that describe yourself

As a man I can be a lonely person and quite nervous, but as an artist I think I am quite calm and tender.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Stopping smoking! I just celebrated my 10th year anniversary since my last cigarette.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Eating. I love eating and find lots of pleasure in it.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

My rule is to live and let live. And I think if everyone followed this thought, we would live in a much better world.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

A lithography by Salvador Dali.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I wished I knew how to listen more and to reason things out before acting.

Who’s your inspiration?

People in general are my inspiration. I think everyone has experiences to share and I can learn something from everyone I meet.

What has been your biggest challenge?

From a desperate situation in my life, I managed to gather and salvage all that was good and now I am the man that I am today.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?

I would still be an artist somehow. Art can’t be suppressed inside.

Do you believe in God?

I believe in a creator.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Ludwig van Beethoven. Classical music impresses me a lot and Beethoven triggers a special energy in me while sculpting. Also, I think on a personal level, me and him are quite similar and both our works are quite contrasting to our characters.

What’s your worst habit?

Biting my nails

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I become extremely quiet and just go to sleep.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Bruce Willis.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What music would you have played at your funeral?

Eroica symphony – by Beethoven.

What is your most treasured material possession?

A fossil of a shark’s tooth that I found in a stone.

What is your earliest memory?

My late father used to run another bar before, the New Life bar, and he used to give me and my brother orange aeroplanes with sweets. I can’t remember the sweets’ name, but I remember these orange aeroplanes vividly.

When did you last cry, and why?

Last October, due to an argument with a family member.

Who would you most like to meet?

Vittorio Sgarbi. I love his passion for the arts. And I love how he expresses himself with no holding back. I would love to hear what he really thinks of my works.

What’s your favourite food?

I love Mediterranean cuisine but if I had to choose one favourite dish, it’s rib-eye.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

I am an ardent fan of Manchester United, and I follow up on everything related to the team, on social media.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I would travel back to the Renaissance and of course choose Firenze. It’s the time of rebirth for various aspects, but what excites me mostly is of course the rebirth of the arts.

What book are you reading right now?

L’Architettrice by Melania G. Mazzucco.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Making people’s life better, in whatever way I can. There’s nothing more rewarding then being able to help someone without expecting anything in return.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

I would love to spend at least six months living in Scotland, and really experience the place and the people.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Classic music.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

I don’t sing... and that’s for the best. And as above, I listen to classical music all the time.