Malta’s next top painter

Sister newspaper Illum interviews 25-year old Manuel Farrugia, considered one of the best emerging talented artists in the present time.

25-year old Manuel Farrugia
25-year old Manuel Farrugia
Pope John Paul II - One of the works of Manuel Farrugia
Pope John Paul II - One of the works of Manuel Farrugia
Manuel Farrugia while painting one of his works featured in the parish church of St. Paul's Bay
Manuel Farrugia while painting one of his works featured in the parish church of St. Paul's Bay

To be commissioned to paint in a church is possibly one of the dreams of a local artist, but if he is able to do so at a young age of 25 years, then the future looks bright.

Sister newspaper Illum interviews Manuel Farrugia, dubbed as Malta’s next Giuseppe Calì even though he downplays the comparison, insisting he has his own artistic identity.

Farrugia, who hails from Victoria Gozo, has already been commissioned several works for different churches, ranging from St. Paul’s Bay, St. George’s in Qormi, Paola, and Xagħra Gozo.

“It’s one of my greatest satisfactions when you consider that numerous artists painted for a lifetime and did not have such projects, while I already had these opportunities at this young age,” Farrugia told Illum.

He also has artistic works featured in churches situated in Kenya and Sicily.

Farrugia’s reputation shot upwards within a couple of years due to the realism found in his paintings.

In his own words, he achieves this through a combination of simplicity and an eye for detail, while he also pays attention to light effects such as the use of shade in some occasions.

In the past twelve months, Farrugia’s talent was also used for sculpture, creating no less than four life-size statues.

“Initially there were some who tried to inhibit me from sculpting, arguing that I was a painter not a sculptor. But truth is that my roots in art originated in sculpture. In my teenage years I chose painting over sculpture only on the insistence of my mother in order not to create a mess at home!” Farrugia said.

The 25-year old admits religion has an essential role in his life and daily work.

“I believe that if I was not a religious person, I would not have put so much dedication in this work.”

Read more in today’s issue of Illum. 

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