Frederick Carabott: From Making Frames In Malta, To Exhibiting Art In London

30 years later, one of the island's most beloved frame-makers will be showcasing his own works again

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Art comes in all shapes, sizes and styles, but if it was painted in Malta, there's a very big chance it was framed at Fgura's DOTA. A beloved family known for their decades-long frame-working business, the Carabotts have been surrounded by art and dabbling with drawing for the better part of three decades. Now, it's time for Frederick, the father who started the business, to showcase his own art.

Back in the 1970s, getting into the local arts scene, a young Frederick quickly became friends with all the budding artists the island had to offer. Thanks to an artistic eye and a flair for painting, he started experimenting with his own sketches. By the 80s, he was finally exhibiting his works alongside the artist friends he had made.

When his household frame-making shop started kicking off (the career path seemed like an obvious next step judging by his lifestyle and passions) and he had his son Daniel, Frederick's exhibitions went dormant. Still doodling practically every day, however, he ended up amassing a vast collection of paintings. Now, thanks to some family encouragement, Frederick's paintings will yet again see the light of day.

"After 30 years, my old man will be exhibiting his work at GX Gallery London," Frederick's son Daniel (who is also well immersed in the family business) told followers on Facebook. "The collection features a unique insight into a wonderfully abstract world of figures which exist only on paper."

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DOTA Frames in Fgura

And abstract is right. The 17 coloured and eight black and white drawings are a smorgasbord of techniques, brush strokes and subjects.

"Blindly intent on self-destruction, his creatures out the laws of physics or survey a future of bleak prospects," legendary Maltese curator, collector and family friend Dennis Vella had said of Carabott's untitled works back when they were first exhibited in the 80s. "There is little doubt that the artist has gratuitously trapped his audience (by their very act of viewing these works) into an admission of complicity in the proceedings."

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The exhibition, which opened yesterday, has works from the 1980s right up to the present day. Frederick's brother, Ferdinand, curated the set of works, going through endless drawings before finally settling for the ones currently on display at the London gallery.

"It was completely a case of chance," Daniel said of his father's exhibition. "My uncle lives in London and is a photographer. I recently bought a new place, and it's filled with his work. One thing led to another, and in less than eight months, he got my father a gig at GX Gallery and helped him curate it... he basically bullied him into it!"

Daniel has much of his father's passion for art in him, and he definitely has the DOTA founder to thank for that. "He always told me that art should be shared by people who appreciate it," Daniel told Lovin Malta. "He always was very humble about his talent and I admire him for it."

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London's GX Gallery is currently showcasing Carabott's works (Photo by Steve Peca)

Frederick's exhibition at the Denmark Hill gallery kicked off yesterday and will go on until the 17th of July.

If you're nowhere near London but would still love to experience his artwork, an online gallery is available thanks to GX's official website.

Featured Image Photo by Elizabeth Mengoli

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Written By

David Grech Urpani

Sarcastically ironic, Dave is a recovering hipster musician with a penchant for chicken, women's clothes and Kanye.