The debut solo exhibitionfrom award-winning illustrator, graphic designer and fine artist Julinu (Julian Mallia) opens today, and will be exhibited at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta until May 26.
Fusing fine-art techniques and deadpan humour, Julinu’s Radioactive Ravioli presents a strangely familiar, alternative universe in a collection of 17 oil paintings.
As an artist, Julinu is known for his playfully witty and characteristically contemporary outlook, and it is that that has provided the catalyst for this exhibition – the quirkily titled Julinu’s Radioactive Ravioli. Much like the filled pasta parcels – which Julinu reflects look alike but have different fillings that can only be discovered through tasting – his collection of paintings have an aesthetically-pleasing, outward appearance that may conceal more thought-provoking implications. In fact, by combining traditional art techniques with his trademark sharp and modern approach, Julinu’s paintings offer alternative visual interpretations of familiar notions and elements from pop culture, to present a strangely familiar alternate universe.
“I wanted to create the kind of art that I want to see more of,” Julinu says. “As the American graphic designer and art director James Victore says: ‘If you play safe and choke back your real voice, you are like a rudderless ship, taking direction from the waves’. We usually associate creativity with absolute freedom, but throughout this body of work, I’ve consciously imposed a set of rules upon myself to help me to better articulate my voice, making it more recognisable and memorable.”
Julinu’s journey towards his first solo exhibition as an artist has been as unique as his aesthetic style. Although he originally graduated in psychology, Julinu pursued a creative career that has gained him a significant following as an artist-illustrator, and earned him recognition from the AOI World Illustration Awards.
“The ravioli metaphor seemed like a great name for the exhibition because, while we’re all familiar with how ravioli look, we can never really know what’s inside until we try them out, of course,” Julinu continues. “You could look at these paintings in the same way: although they are quite accessible, you can taste multiple flavours if they are explored in more detail.
Julinu’s Radioactive Ravioli is being exhibited at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta, from today until May 26. Entrance is free. More information on Julinu and his work may be found online at www.julinu.com.
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