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  • Writer's picturePascal Lagesse

The Zafers (part 1) – Where do the Zafers come from?

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

The word “Zafer” comes from the Mauritian creole and is generally used to name something undefined or when one doesn’t know the name of a particular object. The English equivalent would be “thing” or “stuff”. Since I was unable to classify my new style of painting (I am not an art expert), I called it Zafer, and the name stayed.

At first, I was influenced by the paintings of Michael Adams, renown painter from Seychelles. His richly coloured paintings touched me. But the greatest influence came from Vincent Van Gogh whose paintings overwhelmed me. The influence of Van Gogh in the Zafer paintings come from the fact that some of the master’s brushstrokes tended to take geometrical forms. I then asked myself, how a painting using clear geometrical graphics would look like? I also was impacted by Van Gogh’s obstinacy. This great painter fought all his life, despite his doubts and the negative comments of his fellow painters, to prove that his painting reflected what he wanted to see around him.

One must not see the Zafers as an interpretation of nature or a landscape out of an LSD induced painter’s brain but as a call for beauty. The Zafers are graphic interpretations of a luminous world, a coloured world, a simplified world opposed to the real world we live in. Here, the world is like I would have wanted it to be. I bear an innocent naivety that one can find in my Zafers. Is it the vision of a child refusing to grow up? This celebration of colours and joy denounces our dull and ugly world around us.

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