By EV Borg
Louis Mifsud will be showcasing his late work Mdina: Impressions of the Silent City at Palazzo De Piro, a unique cross-cultural venue from the 21st March till the 23rd May 2014.
Louis Mifsud has shown avid interest in sketching and painting since early childhood but according to the artist he never took it seriously. However, since his retirement from active work and with more leisure time on his hands for artistic creativity he decided to give it a try and see what the outcome would be.
Mostly self-taught he studied for some time under Mr. Matthew Cassar of Rabat at the Malta Society of Arts. He took part in several collective exhibitions: Bliet u Rhula Maltin at the Malta Society of Arts, Valletta (2007); New Faces at Gallery G, Balzan (2008); Art Gems at the Malta Society of Arts, Valletta (2009) and Unity in Diversity, at Malta Society of Arts, Valletta (2010). I first studied his work at Gallery G, Balzan. I stopped in front of his works and was astonished by the acute intensity of character in his work. I was mesmerized that I remained rooted to the spot for some minutes. Later I curated the exhibitions Art Gems and Unity in Diversity and wrote a short evaluation about his works.
As he had worked as a draughtsman before his retirement, for a number of years, his understanding of technical design and geometry as related to architectural subjects served him in good stead and floats to the surface and is explicitly evident in his streetscapes of Mdina. Really, his paintings are similar to elevation plans as drawn by architects that in his vision and concept become quite surreal, haunting and magical though formal and quite stylized. Man does not figure in these spaces and the mystery and enigma is similar to that suggested by Giorgio De Chirico in his metaphysical paintings of empty squares and bizarre monuments. However, in his sharp realistic portraits Louis Mifsud etches his personal stamp. His portraits seem flayed alive and one can see their spirit, their soul through thin skin and fixed wide-open eyes. His meticulous obsessive approach dominates his landscape, still life and drawings of dainty flowers. His plants and flowers not only add to our scientific study of flora but also rich expressions in observation and precise definition.
If Louis persists in his endeavours he will surely leave behind him a rich legacy of works imbued with his love of geometry, cleanliness and precise and incisive graphic design.