ART: Clemens Hasengschwandtner goes pop!

busfun Clemens BalconiesBright, bold and exceptionally eye catching best describes Clemens’ paintings. They are undoubtedly impressive and immediately captivate you. Clemens started painting about 15 years ago. He initially came to Malta to work in tourism however he soon found himself making his living as an artist. His distinct style developed quite early on and has now become his trademark; there is no question that he successfully forges a reputation with the viewer with his colourful pop art.

Pop art has been around for a long time and was a style that emerged as a response to abstract expressionism. It is defined by the use of images that characterise the realities of everyday life and popular culture. A balance between impulses and interests of Clemens are what bring together his contemporary paintings; Through his work he emphasises the banal elements of society, through realism combined with abstract substance.

Clemens develops his paintings into a story, he compels you to ‘read’ and lose yourself in the painting, at first glance his paintings look like a detailed explosion of vibrant colour but drawn in by intrigue, one can start to engage with the scene and a story unfolds. He enjoys depicting fairytales and mythology in his paintings and he tells me that it often helps people identify with them.

Figures are the main focus of his work, his themes range from scenes of everyday life to the extravagantly provocative. His zany images are brimming with humour, wit and playful nudity with a combination of delightful detail. Clemens paintings display energies and feelings that he cleverly transmits through his brush. His block colours are what give his paintings such an impact, they are never mixed and are all defined by a black outline, all produced in acrylic paint. What is most beautiful about some of Clemens’ work is his commissions which he adapts into a ‘life diary’, he incorporates a person’s life experiences into the painting, which leaves them with an everlasting personal image of days gone by.

Aside from his paintings Clemens has also worked on sculptures, that are beautifully carved out of Maltese limestone. These days he produces less of them and is instead developing wooden designs which he cuts, sands, primes and then paints.

Clemens is a happy person who projects his state of mind onto his work, he finds his work to be a reflection of himself. He is optimistic and likes to make the best out of life, dedicating the majority of his time to paintings, and sometimes spending up to 16 hours a day 7 days a week working on them.

Clemens work is on permanent exhibition at Il-Forn wine bar and art gallery in Birgu, it’s his showcase, his gallery and the place where it all started! You can find Clemens at il-Forn or on facebook or you can email him at

Monique Chambers

Monique started indulge in 2011 and has since created Indulge Me GIFT and Indulge Me FOOD and volume 1 of The Artists Directory - Malta. A marketing professional by trade, Monique's passion is to promote local talent and Malta in general. Free time is her biggest indulgence, when she can tinker in her craft room or the kitchen, or be selfish with a book, the sofa and good glass of wine (of course, wearing something beautiful and with freshly coiffed hair!)

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