Friends with Plants in the Day and Age of the Pandemic – Ryan Falzon

Reputable artist, Ryan Falzon, is once again ahead of the game and enriching the local art scene with a new production of oil paintings. Friends with Plants, a playful pun and the exhibit’s theme, is curated by the talented Melanie Erixon. Open to visitors from the 18th of February until the 14th of March, the space is located at the New Life Bar in Mqabba. It can be found on the first level of the building known as ”Il-Kamra ta’ Fuq.” 

Falzon’s body of work hang sporadically in this bijou space, resembling a white cube. The traditional local interior and adjacent a courtyard filled with plants, this space is purposely curated to encapsulate its audience. And how so? The nude and semi-nudes Falzon portrays, primitive in their appearance, are symbolic of the new generation. The paintings suggest an ideology of people we have never met yet their laid-back poses, accessories, objects, clothing, fast-food meal options, and noticeable cigarettes belonging to one figure or the other, all point towards the comfort zone of Millennials and Gen-Z’s. In a fast-paced society such amenities are familiar to many.

A bright array of colours conspicuous to their individual canvases is the culprit of a diversity of plants taking charge. Falzon’s trademark is precisely this subject matter of plants. The body of work hints at an emergence between that of his Botanica series and Selfies. Selfies is a project not thus far exhibited.

Ryan’s infatuation with greenery had developed at the start of the pandemic. Exceptionally mentioning the year of 2021, it was a time in which the virus instigated a glooming uncertainty were many felt down in the dumps. For those who know Ryan, his passion to garden started within this time frame. What started out as a hobby, is now the use of plants as a critical subject matter in his works. Today this transformation is an integral part of his artistic identity.

As part of Falzon’s preliminary process, the artist turns to social media for inspiration and uses daily-life snapshots of others as a source of reference for his figures. Given the situation over the last two years, the majority of people desired to paint “pretty pictures” of their lives and post this proof to social media. Domestic spaces as expected became a pre-dominant trend. Falzon soon realized that the theme of plants as an on-going project, would invest in the here and now. The body of work epitomizes plants as a kind of companion that fits with the programme of nowadays. Namely the programme of loneliness, unloyalty and frustration.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 06:00 – 12:00,  Sunday: 07:00 – 12:00, 

Extra opening hours: Friday 18th February: 19:00 – 22:00, Saturday 19th February 19:00 – 21:00

The exhibition is located at Il-Kamra ta’ Fuq, Mqabba and curated by Art Sweven.

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