A Farrago of themes exploring Nature, Journalism, Post-Truth, Climate Change, and Society, represented through oil on canvas.
Froġa/Farrago, Sebastian Tanti Burlò’s latest solo exhibition, presents a collection of oil paintings that build on Burlò’s expanding conversation with his perceived surroundings. The varying themes and aesthetics take us across the painter’s experiences living between Siġġiewi, Florence, and London.Sebastian Tanti Burlo’ (b.1987) is a Maltese painter, political cartoonist and writer, currently living in London. Under the name Burlò, his work combines current affairs, satire and writing to create a socio-commentary of today’s times.
The farrago of paintings represent different parts of these experiences, divided into series of works titled: Growing Gardens, Melitesia Mgħaffġa, Probable Headlines, and The Beheading of St.John (redux). The series lays bare Burlò’s distinct preoccupations and pleasures, unified through his flair for the absurd, his satirical strokes, and underlying subversive narrative.
Known for his political cartoons weekly published in the Times of Malta since 2014, here Burlò swaps his pen for the brush, retaining his unapologetic social commentary. The saturated colours of the Mediterranean are ever present in his palette, evidence of his enduring connection to the island he loves. On this occasion, Burlò widens his commentary to global preoccupation, touching on the impending environmental catastrophe and the regression of democracy to the far-right. The works in this show are a tragicomedy between the romanticised memory of the island he was born to, and what society has become.
Yet, beneath these bleak preoccupations, there exists beauty – in the gardens and countryside where Burlò grew
up and spends most of his free time. In the joy of friendships grown through childhood adventures up trees, and the long summer meals and prolonged winter walks relished with friends and family. Items and settings depicted throughout the paintings are those closest to the artist. They represent totems to humanity’s incredible progression and the fragility with which it may all regress.