Commercial art gallery

Various works of art exhibited in Valletta

The first edition of Summer showcase by Marie Gallery5, organized in collaboration with Bureau Iniala, is currently taking place in Valletta until September 22, showing a total of 16 pieces.

The showcase is a curated selection of works by established and emerging local artists with the aim of acting as a means of promoting individual works beyond the parameters of an exhibition narrative.

Talk to Malta weather, gallery owner Maria Galea says that some of the works selected for this particular showcase are part of an ongoing research process by the featured artist that will eventually lead to a final series. Others, she says, have recently been exhibited or are part of a larger body of work.

“Being a summer showcase, most pieces also reflect the current season through color, texture, symbolism and interpretation of subject matter,” says Galea.

The artists selected for this showcase range from internationally established artists to highly promising emerging artists who have already exhibited their work at renowned institutions.

Speaking of the individual artists participating in the showcase and their works, Galea says that each carries an in-depth individual narrative.

“Vince Briffa’s works challenge more conventional notions and historical application of matter in the practice of painting, while Ryan Falzon’s popular plant series captures the mood of spring 2022, with the promise of forward-looking summer and the ease of uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 virus,” she says.

Turning to the work of local artist Joseph Farrugia, Galea notes the recurring theme of multiple individuals within a singularity who collectively configure the composition of the image.

The works of Paul Scerri, which are part of the Mano Poderosa series, are also allegorical and recall particular and intriguing pre-Christian cults and depictions of the hand of Sabazios.

Sheldon Saliba and Stefan Spiteri, two promising emerging artists, present works that are part of a larger series or process, while Trevor Borg exhibits a unique piece created a few years ago as part of his exploration and of his continuous interpretation of the natural element.

“What cannot go unnoticed is a unique, stand-alone piece by the late and iconic Isabelle Borg – an abstract diptych on paper, which is highly unusual compared to her portfolio of works,” says Galea.

“This work, made in 1990 by Isabelle, embodies her distinct personality of bold colors and performative brushstrokes.”

I do not believe that the commercial element of an exhibition or concept creates a distraction from the works themselves

Emphasizing that the showcase is not a collective exhibition that represents distinct practices in the art world, Galea says the summer showcase is in line with a concept used in commercial galleries around the world where they present works foreground of the artists they represent between exhibitions.

She added that the showcase had been given a name so that it could be used as a point of reference for the public.

“In contrast, group shows come together primarily by thematic considerations and not by individual artists or works, much like the one we had earlier this year called MARA,” she says.

Works from the Mano Poderosa series by Paul Scerri.

“I don’t believe that the commercial element of an exhibition or concept creates any distraction from the works themselves; after all, selling artwork is how an artist supports themselves, unless the exhibition or project is done solely for social impact and community engagement and is funded by public or private funds.

“As an artistic advisor and curator, my job is both to help create curated artistic experiences and to advise clients on which works and artists to invest in both for individual acquisition and for projects such as as the hotel industry and public and private acquisitions”, says Galéa.

Speaking of Marie Gallery5’s commitment to artists and their work, Galea says that since opening its doors in 2016, the gallery has always put artists at the heart of everything they do.

“Our commitment is to give artists access to different ways to reach their audience, make a living from their practice and find international opportunities to allow them to develop professionally.”

The Summer showcase is on view at Bureau Iniala, Valletta, until 22 September. To learn more, visit

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