Malta – Images Of Bygone Era
Guido Stilon lived life as an understatement, dogged by more than a fair share of earthly misfortunes, crowned by death when only 43 years old. The real assertion of his unassuming genius came much later when his amazing photographic archives started seeing the light.
Stilon’s photography hardly allows itself to be pigeonholed easily. Often striking – he married aesthetic pursuits to his documentary compulsion – his images seldom turn into art for art’s sake. Though mostly self-taught, he had effortlessly mastered the insidious pitfalls of technique and the unforgiving challenges of composition.
Among his many gifts, he excelled in making the difficult look easy. Rarely does any image leave the impression of being bizarre, unnatural, constructed or coerced – most of his photos start off essentially as snapshots that, however, flirt with genius. We are all in the right place at the right time to capture the splendid photograph, but what most of the rest can come up with is an insipid selfie. That distinguishes the Guidos from the rest.
The National Archives now safely house the end result of this labour of love, some 15,000 items, gifted to the nation by his wife Grace, a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of wonders for future generations to discover. This book, munificently curated by photographer and Maltese photographic history researcher Dr Charles Azzopardi opens a minuscule, yet equally precious, window into those treasures.
FOREWORD BY Giovanni Bonello
By: Guido Stillon
No of pages: 208