Saturday 31 October 2020

Exquisite Pain | Squisito Dolore – art project by David Borg

Exquisite Pain | Squisito Dolore is a visual art project by local artist David Borg. The collection is inspired by a Secular Aria published in 1624 by Claudio Monteverdi in ‘Quarto scherzo delle ariose vaghezze’. The aria is entitled: ‘Si Dolce Tormento’. It is all an unreciprocated feeling, and how the lover manages to catch the attention of his counterpart only when it’s too late and his time is up. 

David Borg (b.1993) lives in Lija and is a Structural Engineer by profession. He has nurtured a passion for art and art history since his early childhood. He started his artistic path through the practice of drawing and painting and later through craft making at the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village under the mentoring of Sonny Gatt. Borg discovered woodcut printmaking techniques during his first year at the University of Malta under the tutorship of artist Anabel Cordina who helped him turn this into his own artistic expression.

David reflects about a struggle between opposites, sweetness and torment, pleasure and pain. Such sensations do come across as extreme poles of a spectrum but also as a continuous cycle. Excess love can transform into hate if unreciprocated. This analogy of the lover and his frigid love can also be extrapolated to the condition of the artist that chases inspiration and the muse. In his constant struggle towards artistic solace, the artist battles against his finite existence on earth.As in the musical composition, love and inspiration arrive to find us unprepared or when it is too late. 

The different parts of the musical composition were studied by the artist and allowed to transpire into a visual representation that describes the feelings conveyed. The sweet torment described here is both about the human condition in general, the strive of happiness and perfection, as well as the fleeing relationship of the artist and his muse. Love, hate and grief mix to create a feeling described with great difficulty. This feeling has haunted humankind since the beginning of time and pushed some to the difficult task of artistic creation. 

Charles Andrew Cordina with David Borg and curator Pawlu Mizzi

Exquisite Pain, is the journey of this unreciprocated feeling from its inception to its logical and inevitable conclusion. The body of work is split into two sets of three works each, which show the above; the first three portraying the inception of the feeling and the last three the conclusion.

The six works achieved through woodcut technique are the reaction of the artist to this reality and come in a limited edition of handmade prints.

Exquisite Pain | Squisito Dolore is curated by Pawlu Mizzi and will be open till October 2 at Lucente, 20A, St Lucia Street, Valletta between 10am and 7pm. More information on

Powered by