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Unconventional but beautiful art

After the lazy August breaks, exhibitions are now in bloom at most of the ever increasing number of galleries, as well as in other suitable exhibition space. Not all are worth bothering about, but there are some that merit attention.

Technique is a beautiful accompaniment to Eynaud’s world view- Charlene Vella

Among the latter I must include ‘Dog City’ by an aspiring young artist, George Eynaud. Eynaud is exhibiting 16 recently-executed paintings, 15 of which are in oil on canvas or panel. The 16th is in watercolour on paper.

It is becoming fashionable for some exhibitions to shock the viewer. This is especially the case with conceptual art. Eynaud has not yet tried his hands at conceptual art, and the exhibition is made up exclusively of paintings.

The theme is, however, bizarre. Surely not what we are accustomed to seeing in a Maltese exhibition.

‘Dog City’ is not an exhibition of pretty paintings, and it is certainly not for the fainthearted. However, it is Eynaud’s chosen themes that are peculiar, but their execution comes to the rescue.

Eynaud is a young man who is sensitive to what is going on around him. He is fascinated by the morbid in which he found his inspiration.

Eynaud, like most of us, feels betrayed by the society he lives in. He is especially sensitive to the brutality of man to man, and by cruelty to animals. He has therefore concluded that we are a race of “dogs at heart, compelled by carnal nature to endlessly roam the city streets”.

Images of lifeless dogs and whales are the ones that impinge most on memory of visitors to the exhibition.

Interior Study and Small Reflecting Pond are among the less macabre, because they are not as visually evocative in gruesome terms, but they are equally eerie in mood.

Eynaud has the ability to come up with a concept (or concepts) he obviously feels strongly about, and he has the technical ability to express them in an artistically strong language. His technique is strong.

The oil medium is handled beautifully with a multitude of brushstrokes of varying thicknesses making up the composition. However, technique is here only a means to an end. Dead Nestling, for instance, makes a beautiful still life, that is, if you choose to look on despite realising what the poor subject is.

Technique is a beautiful accompaniment to Eynaud’s world view, which, I trust, will further evolve together to provide us with thought-provoking works.

To Eynaud, the theme is the driving force that inspired him to create these paintings. Maybe this is why his brushstrokes are so spontaneous.

It is no secret that Eynaud comes from a family of talented artists, and that a love for art and talent can be genetic. But how many are the talented children of gifted artists who reach the calibre of their ancestors, let alone surpass it?

So, would I want one of these images hanging in my home? Maybe some of the less gruesome ones, yes. Do I expect Eynaud’s paintings to one day hang in a museum of Maltese modern/contemporary art? I have quite a good idea, but only time will tell. Eynaud is a talented newcomer and I look forward to his maturing as a painter.

‘Dog City’ is open at Lily Agius Gallery, 54, Cathedral Street, Sliema, until Thursday.

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