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Goxwa Borg

 (21st century)
Goxwa Borg is active/lives in Malta, France.  Goxwa Borg is known for painting.

Goxwa Borg

Biography from Axelle Fine Arts Boston

Goxwa, with a dot over the G, pronounced Joshwa, is the Old Maltese form of Josephine. Malta, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean is an ideal setting for an aspiring artist. The walls of the narrow rectilinear streets of Valletta hold traces of all the wandering peoples that have come there on their way to bigger conquests or have stayed there to scratch a living out of the stony soil. Surrounding stones are fragments fallen from the weathered but still upright walls of neolithic temples, which are the oldest freestanding buildings to be found anywhere on earth.

Goxwa was born in 1961 and began sketching at the age of five when she saw a nun painting a portrait of the Virgin on a church wall. Later she went to art school and also took courses in fashion design, which she hated. Her parents however had other plans for her - they had arranged a marriage with the son of a wealthy landowner. The young painter promptly ran away from home and caught a night plane for London. There she enrolled at St. Martins Art School and took odd jobs in restaurants and in fashion design.

Some years later, returning from a nightmare vacation in Italy, she spotted and was spotted by a handsome young man at the Genoa airport. By the time they reached London they were in love. The two got married and he took her to Boston, where he was attending MIT. Goxwa waited tables and studied directing at Emerson College, where she worked on a documentary film about the Amazon rainforest. All the while she was painting, and her work began to attract some attention. She participated in her first show in Boston in 1985. She then won a scholarship in 1993 for a year residency at the Cité des Arts in Paris.

While in Paris, she made a home in the old studio of Pierre Tal-Coat in the 14th arrondissement, with the lustrous carpet of the roofs of Paris spread out before her. There she has been working away ever since, quietly, determinedly, untouched by local cliques or fashions, developing a personal and distinctive style composed of dynamic patterns of color that seem both subdued and extravagant, earthbound and winging away to the unknown all at once.

Walls, says Goxwa, are like masks, simultaneously concealing and revealing the living beings behind them. The backgrounds of her paintings are mottled with splashes of color and seemingly disordered etchings, which represent her walls. Looming out of each are figures, faces, trees, bowls of fruit, sometimes cracked and spattered, but all of them unmistakable, individual. They may be portraits of old friends or of a dear dead cat. They may be reminiscences of paintings in museums or of Byzantine or Russian icons. They each have that double nature which it is Goxwa's special gift to illustrate.

Today's painting may be pastoral or elysian; tomorrow's may be ferociously witty. Over the last quiet, determined decade she has developed her mature style, which comprises a happy marriage of Mediterranean tradition and modern sensibility. She paints with a wax-and-oil-based medium, which demands rapidity of execution because the paint dries quickly. This technique also produces a more solid-looking coat of paint, one which suggests the permanence of a wall and permits a richness and a liveliness of color that recalls both ancient Mediterranean art and modern Mediterranean scenery. Her paintings all have all had their own separate histories in the hurly-burly of mortal life, and they all hover in another timeless world where past, present and future meld into one.

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