Article which appeared in Tune-In Magazine distributed with the
Sunday Times, 26 September,2004.

A One Track Mind
Lindsay Palmier meets up with local artist Fabio Borg

As a child I was obsessed with becoming a wildly successful child author, an idea that had to be scraped when I realized all my storylines smacked distinctly of Enid Blyton. My tennis playing craze never quite saw me through to glory at Wimbledon, mainly because I was scared of the ball and ducked whenever it was hurtled towards me, and while I‚ve always enjoyed scribbling and slapping paint on paper, any illusions I harboured of making my mark in the art world were shattered when I sat for my art A level and realized I was way out of my league when compared to everyone else in the room. However, art enthusiast and self-confessed paint-a-holic Fabio Borg however, is as they say, a whole other kettle of fish.Born and bred in Malta, with a good dose of Italian blood running through his veins, the aforementioned thirty year old artist lives and breathes all things art related, and has been hard at work developing his own god given gifts since the tender age of six. And ten minutes into our conversation, its clear that try as I might, there is no separating the man from the artist – they are indisputably one and the same. How does he spend his free time, I ask? Painting, I’m told. And his day job? Also of the creative variety – Fabio’s a graphic designer. Talk about a one track mind!

Fabio’s style of choice is abstract, one he feels allows for a certain spontaneity and improvisation, and enables him to capture snapshots of what’s in his heart and head at any given time on canvas. “When you work in abstract you arrive somewhere rather than start there,” he contends. “Abstract art has a certain depth to it. You have to go deep into it, move beyond the actual surface. It needs development.” Fabio finds the work of Jackson Pollock, Picasso and Dali highly inspirational; his appreciation of the cubist masters is obvious in his paintings, which feature squares and geometric shapes extensively. “They come naturally”, he explains.

Being nosey by nature, I ask about his personal life. Fabio speaks glowingly of his wife Mariella, who he describes as incredibly supportive and encouraging. Although initially not quite a fan of all things abstract, she has, he explains, learnt to appreciate what he does. “It’s become something we can share, something fun. Whenever I paint she gives me her opinions and comments, lets me know what she prefers. I find her input very helpful.” Any children, I wonder? Not yet, but he looks forward to having some – “they would be my greatest masterpiece”. Any interests other than art? Film going and reading apparently. What would were a lottery win to come his way?

Sell his house, move to Italy, and dedicate every minute of his life to his art. Fabio’s latest project, “Emotions and Passions”, owes a lot to his four year stint in Italy, where he studied theology, psychology and philosophy. Religion, like art it seems, also plays a very important part in his life. The exhibition‚s fourteen pieces tell the story of the Passion of Christ, as based on the Gospel of John. “I wanted to do something different, to prove that contemporary art can also serve as a means of evangelization.” How does he respond to those who criticize abstract approaches such as his? “I always try to be myself, no matter what people say. Whether critics like my work or not, I’m very happy to do what I do, and don’t mind criticisms, because I learn from them.” When asked about future goals or plans, Fabio mentions more exhibitions, ideally abroad as well as locally, as well as perhaps trying his hand at working with bronze, “It’s a difficult medium, but one I’ve always wanted to get into”.

Admittedly, after almost an hour in his easy going and incredibly affable company, I’m left feeling incredibly inadequate in the lifelong passions department. (My longest running love affair has been with chocolate, which hasn’t gotten me very far, unless you count the tooth decay and expanding waistline.) Whatever lies in store for Fabio, I’m willing to bet my last Malteser that it will involve a creative outlet of sorts, and a fair measure of success to boot. Here‚s hoping his dreams of a life of leisure in Italy do come true in the end.

Fabio’s exhibition, “Emotions & Passion” will be open to the public from 30th September to 7th November 2004 at The National Museaum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta.


Copyright Fabio Borg 2006
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