Joe Xuereb was born on 26th
June 1954 and lives in Ghajnsielem, the first village the visitor
meets after landing in Mgarr harbour. He studied art at the Gozo
Lyceum but his career really launched itself off in the 1970's, after
working and studying under the tutelage of the late British
archaelogist Marie Claridge, then active at her 'Gozo 20' studio on
the outskirts of Ghajnsielem. He discovered his artistic inspiration
in Neolithic sculpture, a field rarely exploited by other local
artists and over the years, though his message has cut across
universal boundaries, has made his reputation by specializing in this
type of art.
Xuereb's art is, therefore, closely linked
with the prehistoric past of Gozo, a small island with its own
distinctive character, going back to Neolithic times. His medium, the
soft globigerina limestone of Gozo, is highly adapted to his working
technique, using traditional tools inherited from his father, a
traditional stone mason in his younger days.
Joe Xuereb is married to Miriam and is the
proud father of Lorna and Klara. In the seventies he was one of the
leading lights of his village's Cultural Society, then a dynamic force
in Gozo cultural circles.
He has made his name known beyond the
confines of Malta and has had numerous exhibitions throughout Europe,
where he has exhibited in the Dutch university city of Groningen,
Paris, Berlin and other major German cities as well as mounting a
path-breaking show at the Lincoln Centre in New York. Since 1998,
his work has been permanently on display at 'SOL' Sculpture Gallery
of Siena, Italy and has also executed some large pieces for the
Chianti Sculpture Park located in the Tuscany region.
In 1992, the Dutch magazine "Woonbeeld'
has featured prominently Joe's work following his first personal
exhibition outside his homeland. In 1999, his work was selected and
given extensive coverage in the CNN programme 'ArtClub' that dealt
about Maltese art. Today he runs his own Sculpture Gallery which has
already been visited by clients coming from over 70 countries. His
works are found in private collections ranging from Germany, France,
Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom, South Africa, and
Australia to Florida, California , Minnesota in the U.S.A.