The Valletta Cultural Agency is proud to announce the opening of Apotheosis, a contemporary art exhibition by Darren Tanti. Known for his thematically rich and technically adept works, Darren Tanti, challenges artistic norms with a hybrid exhibition that melds modern art forms with traditional and religious aesthetics.
Apotheosis is running from the 2nd December 2023 to the 9th January 2024 at the Jesuit Church Oratories, Archbishop Street, Valletta.
Addressing members of the media this morning, Valletta Cultural Agency CEO Catherine Tabone said, “In this exhibition, the divine and the human coalesce in the utopia of sacrament, offering a space to renew ourselves through the beauty of art. Behind such endeavour is an aspiration towards learning and a close acquaintance with the accumulated wisdoms of the past”.
Curator Melanie Erixon highlighted that ‘apotheosis’, a term steeped in the divinisation of human beings, takes centre stage as Tanti draws inspiration from ancient Greek mythology and Catholic faith. Crafting a nuanced narrative, the artist urged viewers to contemplate humanity’s pursuit of holiness and transcendence beyond earthly constraints.
Tanti is tackling the subject from a contemporary Roman Catholic perspective for two reasons, which provide important contexts within which to understand these artworks. Firstly, the artist is a Roman Catholic practitioner, and a fervent one at that. Secondly, the exhibition is site-specific, devised appositely for two adjacent oratories, forming part of the Jesuit church complex, in which the artist is creating a beautiful conversation with the artworks of a more classical nature which belong to these two spiritual spaces.
In this immersive experience, Tanti confronts global challenges such as resource exploitation, wealth inequality, war, hunger, and abuse of power prompting reflection on humanity’s collective journey toward a higher state of being, especially poignant in today’s tumultuous times marked by raging wars and widespread hunger.
Known for his hyperrealist prowess, Tanti showcases a paradigm shift in Apotheosis. Departing from two-dimensional works, the exhibition primarily features sculptures and objet d’art, incorporating unconventional elements like neon tubes and perspex. This departure results in a cohesive display of stand-alone installations that seamlessly blend contemporary intent with traditional religious art, punctuated by subtle Pop elements.
Born in 1987, Darren Tanti, has left an indelible mark on Malta’s art world. His international presence includes notable participations at the Venice Biennale of Art (2017) and at the Ostrale Biennale (2019). In 2022, Inaction is a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Tanti’s solo exhibition, received widespread acclaim for its magnitude and strength.
The exhibition, titled Apotheosis, is being held at the Oratories of the Jesuit Church, Valletta, and is organised by the Valletta Cultural Agency in collaboration with the Jesuits Church Foundation.