Michael Xuereb is a conceptual artist, photographer and writer based in London.
Michael Xuereb is primarily a contemporary photographer and image maker. Occasionally his work ventures into other mediums such as canvas work, installation and publication.
Michael's work can be catagorised into two approaches. These are: pure photographic work and works of an appropriated nature.
Most of Xuereb’s photographic work are products of itching curiosity, of wondering how it would look if photographed. The only way to find rest is to develop the concept into a visual. Many of the photographic work are images taken is series. These images are either a repetition of the same subject in different conditions, or similar subjects in a common situation. The repetitiveness in the work shows a true craving desire to understand explore and exploit the perception coming from the circumstances photographed.
The appropriated work has a similar underlying theme. In each case the initial motive is to extract aesthetic value from the found images or diagrams that were primarily designed, drawn or photographed for functional purposes. Just as the source images, the titles are appropriated as well. The majority of the titles of Xuereb’s recent work are borrowed from existing sources. However, what these sources are, is never mentioned. This is because this would add an element to the work, and its function is exactly the contrary. In the case of Michael’s work, the title is a tool to encourage the viewer to distance him or herself from what is depicted in the image - this is only the first stage of the visual experience. After this, the viewer should re-approach the images with a subjective eye to reflect on the subject’s true context. For example, The image titled 'The land was drained and the boggy ground' has a simple intent. It is to create a stimulation/sensation as it welcomes viewers to come up with their own personal statement of how the depiction of spider-man makes them feel. The image creates an indirect cultural implication or implications, while at the same time tries to distant the viewer away from the meaning of what they are seeing. The image of spider-man is not a praise to spider-man. It shows spider-man and suggests to viewers to take a step back, to determine what a visual representation of spider-man means to them, and why it means what it means. Which can be something good, something bad or neutral - all depending on their own personal connection which was developed (often subconsciously) through their cultural upbringing.
The work of Michael Xuereb engages with simple, momentarily issues, ranging between various subjects and delivered in a direct and unapologetic manner. Most of the appropriated work have a deliberately impassive tone, which can be transmitted to some as humorous or parodic.
Born in 1984, Michael Xuereb is originally from Malta. He spent his childhood in New York, and now lives in London. In 2009, Michael graduated in Photography from the London College of Communication. He was shortlisted for the 2008 National Open Art Exhibition with a controversial piece selected by Prof. Maurice Cockrill and artist Gavin Turk. Recent events that included Michael’s work, are: ‘Art Salon’, hosted by Flora Fairbairn, and the 2009 Frieze Art Fair, where he was part of Frieze Projects curated by Filipa Oliveira and Miguel Amado for the artist Brina Thurston. The series titled ‘When I was Wrong’ was chosen to be represented by murmurART. Michael was recently invited to be a part of two contemporary exhibitions in his home country. These are ‘A New Generation’ at the Malta Contemporary Arts Foundation gallery (January 2010), and ‘Relocation’, curated by Dr. Raphael Vella. (June 2010).