Oil paintings for sale painted solely by Michael Wright. Commissions welcome. Exclusive, unique, original, valuable. Global delivery.
The new LeMakoo Art Gallery is now open.
About the artist.
A flourishing career that has reached a remarkable milestone. Michael Wright, the Australian painter who has been painting in Malta full-time for the last 10 years, has sold his 300th painting.
This is a magnificent feat on its own right. Michael, best known as LeMakoo (a nickname – used for memorability, just as Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de Paloma preferred to sign the name Picasso) is a unique artist with both feet fixed firmly in the commercial and flamboyant.
A quick tour around Malta and it becomes easy to appreciate the impact LeMakoo has made on his home. From restaurants in St. Julians to wine bars in Valletta and even furniture showrooms proudly display a burning, moving landscape of LeMakoo.
He has succeeded in creating a brand name for himself – something local artists seldom achieve – and the Malta art scene is all the better for it. Of course, LeMakoo is not solely a ‘local’ artist in the pedestrian sense, LeMakoo is an internationally successful artist who even has paintings on display in a prestigious gallery in Moscow. This is a source of great pride for the globe-trotting Australian painter although he takes even more pride in the statistic that says 62% of his sales have been local.
This landmark sale is the culmination of a long artistic career that spans a lifetime and a half, one might say. LeMakoo was always an artist, and he spent 15 years working as an artist for newspapers. Whilst the job was satisfactory as it gave him good experience, exposure and contacts he grew tired of publishing artwork that would only survive until the next day. He wanted to create something less perishable and with more longevity – and without photoshop!
LeMakoo held his first exhibition on the Isle of Man 15 years ago, shortly before coming to Malta, and it was the start of a prosperous affair. In Malta he has held exhibitions in a variety of places like hotels (a stand-out one being in the Hotel Phoenicia where he exhibited works inspired by his native Sydney and Malta, hosted by the Australian Embassy.), restaurants and trade fairs.
The art market is analogous to the ‘survival of the fittest’ regime nature employs. Only the most adaptable survive and LeMakoo’s success – prices for a 120 x 60cm painting have increased over 100% and the sales have increased proportionately – is a triumph of individuality and artistic integrity.
Justin Fenech. 2015
‘I love beauty and I love oil paints and the texture and shine they produce. I like to see the brush strokes so I know I’m looking at a work of art and not a photograph. I produce mostly Oil paintings because nothing has yet been invented that has a chance to last as long. I like the feeling that my work will survive long after me.
Originally from Australia, Michael Wright lives in Malta after a lifetime working with the largest media organisations in Sydney and London. Notably The Times of London and the Sydney Morning Herald. His mission is simple, to capture beauty through art.
Michael began his journey as an artist on The Sydney Morning Herald in 1986. He since moved to London where he worked on The Times and the Daily Mirror eventually becoming a political cartoonist for The European. He has produced work for such names as Ferrari and Benetton.
Using only the finest, highest quality art materials available. Michael aspires to longevity in his paintings, to give them the chance of survival for thousands of years. Michael’s work has been sold all over the world and sits in many private collections. His first solo show in the UK was a sellout.
Michael Wright is an artist and writer with a passion for expression in many forms. Born in Sydney, he was fortunate to get an artist position at Fairfax Newspapers at an early age that influenced the rest of his life. From there, following in the footsteps of countless Australians he landed at Heathrow airport in London to pursue his ambitions. Once again he was fortunate in gathering a wide range of experience on a number of London’s leading newspapers over a period of many years.
‘The most fun I had was with the Daily Mirror, the office was full of energy, talent and drive and I found myself in many interesting situations.’
10 April 1992: A large IRA bomb explodes outside 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London. Wright was tasked with describing and drawing the entire incident for the Sunday Telegraph. Searching through the bomb crater gathering evidence with his camera and notepad in a scene of devastation, he noticed a small delicate ship sculpture in a glass case that had survived the blast totally intact, barely ten metres from the epicentre. ‘The glass case was covered in debris, the roof of the building above it was missing, yet somehow this most fragile of things had survived.’
1993-94: Drawing front page political cartoons for The European. Major stories at that time were the Bosnian war, the referendums and negotiations forming the European Union and Russia coping with the fall of communism. ‘I enjoyed drawing Russians in their big fur coats and hats, they were easily caricatured and instantly recognisable. Drawing cartoons about the war in Bosnia were tricky. I had to tread a fine line introducing humour into a subject filled largely with tragedy. I found that attacking politicians was always easy and I was delighted to receive correspondence and sales from the public.’
Review by John Readman
Michael Wright is a highly regarded artist of striking style and originality. His vivid Maltese paintings exhibit an extraordinary intensity of colour that skilfully juxtaposes light and shadow to capture the changing conditions of the Mediterranean. These extremes, in contrast, are reminiscent of the tension and release found in great Jazz compositions, creating atmosphere and passion in his work. His intricate and subtle techniques with opposite hues of the colour spectrum, give an eerie detail and realism within the shadows of the artist’s landscapes. The scenes evoke a dignity and integrity that capture the moods of the Maltese Islands.
Michael Wright has produced many memorable images of Malta. His paintings of Valletta are rich and powerful. Valletta Red, Valletta Blue and Sweeping Valletta are all good examples. Similarly, his painting of Vittoriosa, Filfla, Golden Bay, Mdina and the Sentinels of Ghajn Tuffieha are fine works of art. I recommend you seek out and enjoy these impressive paintings.
The High Commissioner for Australia H.E. Ms Anne Quinane. Opening LeMakoo’s exhibition.
Malta. An Australian Perspective Exhibition Review, by Justin Fenech.
The exhibition of that opened yesterday at the Phoenicia, is the latest in the series of the Australian painter, Michael Wright, perhaps one of the most exciting talents in the Maltese art scene so far. This latest exhibition perfectly captures Michael’s two greatest abilities: Consistency and Dynamism. His style has become as recognizable as that of Van Gogh, or Mondrian, it is something purely his own, and more than a little exciting. His swirling backgrounds, dense with proud, bright reds, warm yellows, putting in the shade the scenes they depict. It is as if Mdina is basking in the shade of the colours! A submission of reality to the artistic mind.
In this exhibition he has turned his attention to the detailed, almost anthropological comparison of his adopted home, and his native land. This is as revealing as any historical study could be on the nature of our Islands. The humorous, yet profound way, which he unites scenes of Maltese life with those of Australia is quite eye-opening.
Who would have thought Valletta and the Sydney Opera house could look so well together? The exciting, almost melancholy, unite the two realities effortlessly, by sheer force of colour. Reality is nothing more than colour, and distance is a colourful illusion. The themes of the exhibition vary from the mystical to the tongue-in-cheek. I never before saw such a modern, hypnotic image of our sole Maltese saint, Dun Gorg Preca, smiling at me as he always did in the pictures I constantly saw in youth, but somehow looking like a Warholian superstar. Perhaps the church could do with this kind of modernization? Then, who amongst us Maltese, are not accustomed to seeing the serious, morose, faces of our past Grand Masters, hanging from their opulent palaces of hidden corruption? Yet, who amongst us, could have ever thought to have seen a Knight bearing a gun? Associating a Knight with the Australian rogue, Ned Kelly, is a metaphor worthy of Andre Breton! Sheer class.
The other myriad of scenes, including the images of fantastic women, two-dimensional rainbows, along with Art Nouveau-esque images of Poppies and Hibiscus, catalogue, and detail, Malta’s long lost pride, a pride which can only be appreciated by a foreigner. The colours scream a loud and proud National Anthem, that stretches as far as Uluru. On a personal note, I feel confident enough, and relieved enough, to term this ‘Malta’s first Imaginationist exhibition’!
The work in this exhibition perfectly encapsulates, not only superficially, but deeply, the beliefs of Imaginationism. Not only do the scenes themselves depict and elicit emotions that take the viewer back to the lonely Maltese balcony, or the bustling dusk in Sydney, but, more importantly, they make you feel. When one looks at these paintings one does not think, those bourgeois, superficial thoughts, like “what is the artist trying to portray?” or “what does this mean?” No! Finally, there is artwork which you can simply enjoy, appreciate, and get carried away on the journey they take you on. I never felt so relaxed looking at art. I wasn’t looking at a mathematical equation of technique and combinations. The technique that these paintings possess serves a purpose, to enhance the image, the scene, giving enough realism to satisfy travel-hungry minds. Long, long may it continue!