Artist Statement Anthony Calleja Photography
See: Artist Statement - Art Photography - Double Exposure - Body Piercings - Photo Maskings - Auguste Rodin - Temptation Of Eve - Tattoo Art - The Art of Dance - Tiltshift Photography - Limited Edition Art Photographs - The Early Years - Earlier Works
Though born in San Francisco, I was raised in the small independent country of Malta, an island in the Mediterranean Sea—the birthplace of my parents and the resting place of my ancestors. Growing up in Malta allowed me to deeply appreciate my rich heritage and develop a profound understanding of culture.
As a youngster immersed in the Maltese way of life, I studied Art. The islands' history influenced me, as the vibrant nature of the Maltese people and the unique experience of being the youngest among 24 siblings. Every encounter became an exciting visual experience, shaping the direction of my life's journey and influencing my approach to photography today.
During my formative years, I returned to the United States and pursued my passion for photography at San Francisco City College. During this time, I delved into the works of renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, dissecting and studying his masterpieces. Bresson's ability to capture the extraordinary within the ordinary inspired me to seek a different perspective and shed light on the overlooked aspects of life.
In the early eighties, armed with my newfound knowledge, I took to the streets of San Francisco. Immersed in the raw essence of everyday life, I relished the opportunity to document its hardships and glories. I ventured into available light black-and-white portraiture and wedding photography to support my artistic pursuits. However, I soon realized that capturing weddings alone did not fulfill me, and I knew I needed to change my path.
I set aside my camera for a time, as photography had always been my passion, but I had yet to find a way to make a living from it. In search of a deeper purpose, I decided to emulate my father, Pacifico Calleja—a hardworking man who dedicated his life to providing for his family. He selflessly put his loved ones before himself, a deeply admired trait. Years later, I found love in the form of my beautiful Genoveva, and we embarked on the journey of marriage. This newfound commitment further ignited my desire to be a provider, following in my father's footsteps.
Although I enjoyed editorial and portrait photography, I believed my work would go unappreciated, potentially fading into obscurity. Consequently, I pursued other employment opportunities, taking on various jobs that challenged me and allowed personal growth—twelve years passed, marked by significant changes and the profound loss of my father. Two years later, the shocking departure of my 47-year-old brother plunged me into a deep depression. With no children to carry on the family name, I felt like I was nearing the end of my journey. Then, my beloved wife, Genoveva, encouraged me to pick up my camera again. Upon doing so, I experienced a transformative shift, finding solace and strength to confront life's difficulties and frustrations.
Now, my passion lies in capturing and preserving the essence of people. I strive to tell stories, raise awareness, and evoke powerful emotions through photography. Each moment I freeze in time exudes feeling and carries a story—sometimes candid, sometimes posed, each imbued with realism or tinged with fantasy elements depending on my mood or the subject's circumstances. My images have become my children, a testament to my father—the patriarch, provider, and hard worker—who taught me the value of embracing life's richness.
Today, I live in Kapolei, Hawaii, on the picturesque Oahu island. I specialize in photography and digital imaging services and cater to small businesses, corporations, non-profits, and individuals. My unwavering goals are to create uniqueness and capture the perfect mood, aiming to immortalize moments of beauty that resonate deeply.