Combining his love for Malta and quirky illustrations, Zack Ritchie’s Malta’s Got Some Character is a Disney-inspired exploration of Maltese iconography. The exhibition is currently showing at Iniala 5, in Valletta, where it will be open until June 30.
Ritchie's illustrations attempt to humanise and shed more optimism to the often quoted Maltese phrase Pajjiż tal-Mickey Mouse (A Mickey Mouse Country). Instead of using this phrase to criticise aspects of Maltese culture, Ritchie took iconic cultural elements and brought them to life as Disney inspired illustrations.
Each character is drawn in vibrant primary colours and given a humorous narrative that exudes positivity and hope. This playful treatment of Malta still engages elements of satire but with a dose of more subtlety than is usually employed in the Mediterranean island.
Ritchie is a graphic artist with an education in fine arts. However, he has since found his passion in digital graphic design and advertising. These disciplines have taught him the importance of narrative and story-telling, making him less sensitive to aesthetics and more preoccupied with delivering optimistic and amusing messages through visual communication.
He particularly enjoys bringing vibrant new characters to life and placing them within whimsical narratives, that engage viewers into joining the dots.
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