Selina Scerri, painter

Following my graduation in 2007, I based myself in London where I worked as an artist for two years under a contract with Salon Contemporary and other galleries. Ialso exhibited in London and in a few cities in Italy. When I arrived in Malta in 2010, I furthered my studies, whilst also travelling to Madrid and Rome for inspiration. I see my work is a celebration of being human with subjects evoking a dream-like freedom. I’m a firm advocate of contemporary art’s mission to increasingly engage with the economic, political and social discourses.

Stellina, artwork, artist, art, Malta, Maltese, Selina Scerri
Stellina by Selina Scerri

How did you get started?
My mother started it for me, to be honest. She taught me to say ‘colours’ before I could say ‘mum’ and ‘dad’. Since she loved art, there was always paint available for me as a child, although she never really pushed me to choose art as a subject at school. I grew up to decide thatit was the best option for me and I rebelled against the system as there wasn’t the education I wanted at the University of Malta. I then furthered my education at Central Saint Martins in London.

Whose artist’s work are you most inspired by?
Well when you are a professional you look at all artists’ work and try to learn from each and everyone of them. I obviously have a few favourite artistswhom I am inspired by. When I look at other artists’ artworks, I might find that the questions an artist’s work brings up might be more interesting than the questions another work poses but of which I would admire the technique more. I also have an obsession with everything Japanese and this is often seen in my work.

Describe your work in less than 10 words.
Free from the dogma that society prescribes.

What genre do you consider your work to be?
Magic realism, but I do tend to change.

Bathroom Princess, art, artist, artwork, painting, Malta, Maltese,  Selina Scerri
Bathroom Princess by Selina Scerri

Your favourite from among your own artworks?
 I do love the new work I am doing now.

Where was your first exhibition held?
Labyrinth many years ago … when I was on Xarabank, aged 18. Nobody had turned up, not even my best friends. A strange professor from Belgium had come and he was trying to convince me to leave the country and move to Belgium.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently researching the cinema poster collection of the old cinema ‘Citylights’, where my studio is based at. I am going through erotica vintage cinema posters and choosing images that I like and translating them to how I see them, a magical other world.Unlike what people might think of some of these visuals stemming from the sex industry, especially the vintage ones, I think of them as being really powerful, beautiful and hold a great narrative.

How long have you been painting?
Ever since I can remember.

Are you a morning person or do you come alive at night?
I work all around the clock.

 Geisha with Cat, mixed medium on canvas, Selina Scerri
Geisha with Cat (mixed medium on canvas) by Selina Scerri

How many coffees a day? Don’t embellish.
I drink about 10 coffees a day plus a lot of diet coke. Caffeine is the only habit I’ve got.

Sundays can be very productive for some and very unproductive for others. How do you spend yours?
Unless my partner decides to do something else, I would be painting. However, I do practice the art of not having a time table.

Wine and cheese. Yes or no?
Not really, Sushi and Sake please.

If you were given a million euros, what would you indulge yourself with?Designer clothes and travel.

Favourite place to holiday?
Anywhere that is not cold.

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Our artists profiles have been created by various writers including the artists themselves, Christine X, Amber Knights and Paula Fleri-Soler. With 100 of our favourites collated in to one book - its a great gift for art lovers, new home owners, a corporate gift or dinner party offering www.indulge.com.mt/shop