MaltaToday previous editions

MALTATODAY 23 October 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 55

maltatoday | SUNDAY • 23 OCTOBER 2022 2 THE Q&A DARREN TANTI BY LAURA CALLEJA suggestions by email Renowned for his thematically loaded and technically accomplished paintings, artist Darren Tanti's focus is hyperreality and the integration of the digital into explorative painting techniques. Tanti participated in the 15th 'Biennial of young artists from Europe and the Mediterranean' in Thessaloniki in 2011, 'Time, Space, Existence' at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2014 through AP, and 'HomoMelitensis' as one of the artists representing Malta in the Venice Biennale of Art, 2017. Tanti's artworks can be found in the National Collection of Art in MUZA abd the Maltese embassy in Washington D.C. His next major solo exhibition 'Inaction is a Weapon of Mass Destruction' will be held at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta and il-Kamra ta' Fuq, Mqabba, from 28 October to 4 December What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Usually, I start with a coffee and prepare a warm milk for my daughter Scarlett and tea for my wife Rosanne. What is the best advice you've ever received? Honestly, I have received such good advice and positive life lessons... one that stuck in my head was by a university lecturer – "Do not wait for an opportunity, create it yourself!" What do you never leave the house without? Even though I do not have a particu- larly good relationship with it, I never leave home without the mobile phone. When I leave it behind, I feel a strange feeling of discomfort and relief. In the end I turn around to pick it up even if it is switched off. Pick three words that describe yourself Trustworthy, inquisitive, thoughtful. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Representing Malta in the Venice Bi- ennale. I felt the same thrill when the Fine Arts museum of Malta acquired some of my artworks for the national collection. What is your guiltiest pleasure? Being alone and in silence, even if I am supposed to be interacting with others. What is the most important lesson life has taught you? When I experienced, almost in tan- dem, the birth of my daughter and the death of my grandfather, I learnt that there is nothing as precious as living every moment of life and being appreciative of it. I admit that it is easy to forget this lesson and be carried away with ambitions and frivolous matters, but every now and then life throws a reminder and brings me back to focus. Property and cars aside what's the most expensive thing you've ever bought? I haven't the slightest idea... I guess a painting or sculpture. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? Oh, there are so many things I wish I knew! Perhaps, to be much less cau- tious and embrace adventure/risk in my various endeavours. As the great Romans say, 'fortes fortuna iuvat'. Who's your inspiration? There are so many people who have been an inspiration to me, and they vary depending on the time and context. For a long period of time Stephen Hawking has been an in- spiration to me, but there are others, usually I am inspired by people who defy the odds and achieve excel- lence. What has been your biggest chal- lenge? My biggest challenge is a continuous one, it is the self. The inescapability of confronting the self with all that it may entail is a daunting task – it is a situation in which one is always accountable for his/her own actions/ being and there is no way of hiding it. If you weren't an artist what would you be doing? If I wasn't an artist-teacher, I would have been a scientist specialising in cognition. Though, I could have also been an architect, a violinist or whatever else I decided to be (with the exception of professions that re- quire very specific physical qualities which I do not have or being born in specific privileged socio-economic situations which I wasn't). Do you believe in God? Yes, I do. If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be? Perhaps it would be Albert Camus. I am fascinated by how as a writer he lived his philosophy to the full in his real life. I refrain to consider artists because I would really have a serious problem who to choose. What's your worst habit? Being overly critical of myself and the ones' closest to me. What are you like when you're drunk? I usually handle a drink quite well. This being said, I think I qualify as a funny carefree drunk. Who would you have play you in a film? Tom Hardy or Christian Bale. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Betrayal, opportunism. What music would you have played at your funeral? I have a whole playlist ready for that – 'Teil I' by Kjartan Sveinsson, then 'On the nature of Daylight' by Max Richter, followed by "Leaving Home" by Hildur Guðnadóttir and Jóhann Jóhannsson and ending with 'Resurrection', also by Guðnadóttir and Jóhannsson. What is your most treasured materi- al possession? A ring that my grandfather gave to me. What is your earliest memory? Of my mother, heavily pregnant with my sister, wearing a flowery/pat- terned dress and I am with my grand- mother preparing to go staying with my grandparents for the weekend. When did you last cry, and why? Some months ago – various reasons Who would you most like to meet? Noam Chomsky – I believe he is one of the greatest minds alive and it would be a great honour for me to meet him. What's your favourite food? Pizza – it is a humble meal but fit even for the royals. Who's your favourite person on social media right now? Professor Andrew Huberman: he is the scientist-rockstar per excellence. If you could travel in time, where would you go? Probably Ancient Greece, but I am sure it would not be so idyllic as my imagination leads me to believe. What book are you reading right now? 'Against the Terror of Neoliberalism' by Henry Giroux. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To have total control over time, that is, to look into the past, see what is happening in the present and foresee the future and its various permutations. What's one thing you want to do before you die? Exhibiting my work at an Internation- al Art Space, such as the MOMA or the TATE. What music are you listening to at the moment? My playlist is varied – from contem- porary composers such as Johann Johannsson and Max Richter to Cannons to SHM to Vivaldi and others. In the shower or when you're work- ing out, what do you sing/listen to? I find that during a workout, having a motivational speech of David Gog- gins yelling to me not to give up is quite effective – usually the yelling is accompanied by heroic background music!

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MALTATODAY 23 October 2022