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  • Writer's picturePascal Lagesse

The Zafers (part 4) – Use of Graphics

My use of graphic elements in the Zafer style resulted, for a greater part, from a simplification of Vincent Van Gogh’s brush strokes. Spirals and circular shapes that can be seen in his

painting “Starry night” and the near geometric shapes found in the painting “Flowering meadow with trees and dandelions” challenged me and I asked myself what if these paint strokes were simplified at their fullest? How would such a painting look like? This is how I began painting with circles, spirals, squares, triangles, lines, and dots. This usage of graphic shapes helped me understand the master’s paintings.

I wanted to see whether the viewer would recognise a landscape, or an object made of graphic signs. I rapidly realised that the use of circles, triangles, squares, or spirals did not hinder the comprehension of the painting and foremost the intention I wanted to convey. For example, a chicken with a dotted texture, a striped texture, or a texture made of triangles did not take away the fact that it was a chicken in the viewer’s mind. In many cases, the addition of graphic textures made a common subject more interesting. In many Zafer paintings I decided to give the viewer graphically complex skies with colours far away from the traditional blue or grey real-life skies. There have never been any doubts in the viewer’s mind that these were skies. Whether a sky was made of giant circles, huge stipes or dots did not affect the overall comprehension of the painting.

The squares and the triangles are among the stronger graphic shapes, and they should be used carefully since they tend to draw attention. Circles and spirals are smoother by nature. The square is very difficult to use with natural elements and are better used in architectural representations. The use of any graphic shape in the Zafer paintings is never made coincidently. Sometimes a graphic element works better that another in a definite area of the painting. I am starting to understand their use and how to colour them and it took me only twenty years…

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