Rafał Mielczarek: Drawings 2015 – 2020

Author: Rafał Mielczarek

Price: €12

Paperback: 104  pages
Dimensions: 148 x 210 mm

Available at Kixott’s Bookshop, Mosta

The fantastical remains frustratingly under-represented in Malta. Perhaps by dint of the islanders’ allegedly deep-rooted pragmatism, or the necessity its artists feel to suss out the provincial neuroses of a young, post-colonial nation, it is either the nakedly decorative or the starkly social-realist that tends to rule the roost in the pantheon of Malta’s art and culture scene, both past and present.

Rafał Mielczarek’s drawings buck this trend, and then some. Descending on the island in full ‘stranger in a strange land’ mode, he wields his pencil like a mad wizard’s wand to transform familiar landscapes and landmarks into images that seem culled from the imaginations of such visionaries as Arnold Böcklin, HR Giger and HP Lovecraft. This is not the tranquil aesthetic of an expat relaxing their way to ‘easeful death’ on a Mediterranean quasi-paradise. It is a howling, spiky epic song with heavy metal overtones, a confrontational set of images whose disciplined draughtsmanship makes thoroughly engaging what could otherwise have been repulsive.

A five-year span of images that opens up to the black seas of infinity.