Digital Painting By Ramon Azzopardi Fiott [AKA RAFiott]
MeliTENSION Collection | Completed 2021

Currently the artist’s favourite of his works, “Triton”, by RAFiott is a limited edition fine artwork that is now in the prestigious permanent collection of the Maltese National Fine Arts Gallery – MUŻA, Valletta.

Overcoming Cultural Challenges

Within the rich tapestry of Maltese culture, an enduring sense of guilt and shame has hindered our progress. Throughout history, we have been conditioned to perceive our language, country, and people as inferior. Fortunately, this narrative no longer dominates, but the scars of our neo-colonial past remain unaddressed, impeding our advancement.

Symbolism and Inspiration

Drawing inspiration from Apap’s Triton fountain, situated at the main entrance of Valletta, “Triton” symbolizes a unifying image that transcends the confines of language and politics. Despite its iconic status, the fountain remained uninaugurated for 59 years. It, like our national identity, environment, and the LGBTQ+ community all deserve greater recognition. This painting embodies the power of self-acceptance, depicting a singular androgynous siren luxuriating in a glass of pink Martini, reminiscent of one of the artist’s favourite muses. Below, a male-presenting homosexual couple shares an intimate moment at the renowned landmark, surrounded by meaningful references to places like El Retiro and Sergels Torg, as well as painterly cameos from the artist’s childhood and family. “Triton” invites viewers to embrace life with a healthy dose of humor and self-love, a sentiment that holds particular significance in our present times.

Embracing Self-Acceptance and Preservation

“Triton” stands as a visually evocative piece that delves into national identity through its aesthetic. It sheds light on the pressing need for urban conservation in Malta, a time when financial gain often outweighs communal well-being. This artwork aims to foster a more intimate and playful connection between the island’s residents and their surroundings. It serves as a heartfelt tribute to everything the artist cherishes about Malta, a resolute protest against the degradation of our urban and natural environment, and ultimately a call to action, urging viewers to actively preserve our country’s heritage.

Furthermore, “Triton” represents the historically marginalized yet resilient queer community in Malta. In Apap’s Triton, three masculine sirens support a dish reminiscent of Atlas bearing the weight of the sky. In this interpretation, a singular androgynous siren revels in a glass of pink Martini, inspired by one of the artist’s muses. Below, a male-presenting homosexual couple embraces the iconic landmark, radiating warmth and affection. The painting encourages viewers to embrace their authentic selves and approach life with a lighter heart, a sentiment of utmost importance in our current times. Amidst prevailing animosity, the artist believes that much of the hatred stems from insecurities and general unhappiness.

Lastly, “Triton” serves as the flagship painting of the series, embodying the culmination of the artist’s artistic growth and expression. Its meticulous attention to detail and textured surfaces demonstrate the profound depth achieved throughout the collection.


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