An introspective journey, in conversation with Daniel Borg on his first solo exhibition ‘Midlife Crisis’

Daniel Borg

ARTZ ID visits Daniel Borg’s first solo exhibition at The Mill, part of SPRING Artistic programme led by Gabriel Caruana Foundation. Daniel’s work has been attracting some local attention within the artistic community, his facebook posts have allowed us to discover daniel’s impressive work and talent. Visiting his exhibition is definitely something else,  each and every piece takes you in a different scene, place and ignites all sorts of emotions. This body of work is almost like a recollection of memories, experiences and a reflection on each one. We asked daniel how it all came about : 

Midlife Crisis by Daniel Borg

Tell us about your current exhibition at The Mill titled ‘Midlife Crisis’. What should the viewer expect to encounter and does the body of work tell a personal story?

SPOILER ALERT for those who haven’t yet visited the exhibition as I am not a fan of reading about a visual experience before experiencing it first-hand. The body of work carries the viewer on an introspective journey encouraging one to self-reflect on their own lives. I strongly believe that a painting says more about the viewer themselves rather than the creator hence the experience is very individual and personal. Each piece is taken from a perspective of an intruder, an unwanted visitor, a crisis. My audience is familiar with my work through social media since I am a newcomer, therefore the first thing that strikes them is the use of the medium and the surprisingly significant difference in size from that of a mobile screen or perhaps a computer monitor. I find this new recent phenomenon of the transition from an online viewer to a gallery visitor very intriguing.

Daniel Borg
Daniel Borg, taken from the artist's Facebook page.

“Each piece is taken from a perspective of an intruder, an unwanted visitor, a crisis.”

The pieces exhibited land themselves between abstract, figurative, and pop art. I strongly believe that nowadays the physicality of the medium is needed more than ever since it seems that our lives are shifting to a more digital interface of experience. I use my instinctual feeling when creating the images, nothing is calculated or thought out. I don’t use symbolism, as I feel it limits the experience. Once the work is executed I start analyzing it and unfolding this huge knot of information. During this exhibition, I learned a great deal from the discussions that I already had with the visitors about myself. The opening day of the exhibition was on my birthday.

Impressions from ‘Midlife Crisis’ at The Mill, Daniel Borg’s first solo exhibition of paintings.

Your exhibition grew out of SPRING, the artistic program curated by Gabriel Caruana Foundation in support of early-career contemporary artists. How did you benefit from this initiative?

I am very grateful to Raffaella and Elyse for choosing me for this initiative and believing in me. The majority of the pieces were painted between last September and February. The invitation gave me a boost in confidence in the early stages of my painting days which I felt was crucial. Although at times I felt overwhelmed by the idea of having an exhibition booked, it also forced me challenge myself more. I learned a huge deal from Raffaella and Elyse. We coordinated most of the exhibition via online meetings. It was a steep learning curve, from the initial idea until this moment, setting up and hosting the show. Since I am based in Berlin some logistics were also very tricky.

Birthday, 2021

Would you agree that a moment of crisis also presents a possibility for breakthrough and profound change? Do you have any thoughts about this in relation to your artistic work?

There is an element of an instinctual self-defense mechanism, during moments of crisis. Some act on it while others suppress it. I am still not sure if painting is acting on it or suppressing because most of the time when I am painting I feel absorbed in the painting, I forget about myself, my presence and my being but in another ways it’s very cathartic. Perhaps not thinking about the crisis per se is beneficial as it diverts negative thoughts. One thing I am sure of is that it keeps you company. I don’t feel alone when I am painting.

Impressions from ‘Midlife Crisis’ at The Mill, Daniel Borg’s first solo exhibition of paintings.

Connect with Daniel and follow his latest work on ARTZ ID.

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