"ZAFER" STYLE PAINTINGS
I designed the "Zafer style" (pronounced ZA-FAIR - the A of "ZA" is pronounced like the A of apple) in 2003. 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.
When I started the "Zafer style", I was looking for a different approach to landscape painting and wanted to keep the door opened on “classical” paintings, I included a realistic perspective in my Zafers. This perspective can be realistic or voluntarily distorted. Once the painter “tames” the perspective, he can make the viewer travel through his paintings, travel through his Zafers.
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.
I use acrylic paint and oil paint to create my Zafer style paintings. Acrylics have the great advantage of drying quickly compared to oils who takes its time and mine. One of the disadvantages of acrylic paint is that some colours have a tendency change hue after drying. This is a serious problem when the painter is demanding in terms of colour tones he desires. Oil paint do not have this tendency and is more reliable. With time, I learnt a lot about the colours used in my Zafers. The colours in the Zafer paintings (compared to a classical painting where the colours are mixed upfront on the paint palette and placed on the canvas) are placed separately and visually mixed by the viewer. This principle is like the offset printing technique where four colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) are used to create millions of colours. The juxtaposition of these four colours in a precise order allows the printer to reproduce complex photographs on paper. In a Zafer painting, I can paint a plain blue background and then paint on top of this hundreds of yellow triangles. Seen from afar, the viewer’s eyes will mix the blue from the background and the yellow triangles, and the mixture will give the viewer the illusion that this surface is green. (Blue + yellow = Green) In nearly all my Zafer paintings I use this technique to create illusions of colours.
The Zafer paintings will lighten any room. Here are two examples of what a Zafer painting look like when hanged on a wall. Of course the paintings can be framed according to your personal taste.