Artist Talk - Interview with the artist Abdullah Mojavari Samak

1881 - 2021: Schmincke celebrates its 140th anniversary in 2021. And its original product - MUSSINI® finest artists' resin oil colours - can also look back on this long success story, too. Since its development in 1881 by the company founders Josef Horadam and Hermann Schmincke, little has changed in the recipe. We got in touch with some oil painters and asked them about the special properties of our traditional paint.

What is your name, where are you from?
(Saeid) Abdullah Mojavari Samak. My roots are in Iran. I have been living and working in Germany for almost 25 years now and have settled in here.

How long have you been using MUSSINI®?
I have been using MUSSINI® colours since I was 16 years old (1984).

Do you remember your first MUSSINI® tube?
Yes, at that time I won a prize in painting through school and the prize was a suitcase full of  MUSSINI® paints.

What is so special about MUSSINI®?
The high quality of the paint, the lasting effect of colour, the light fastness and the smoothness of the colours. When the painting is finished, the effect of the colour is so intense and lasts for years.

Do you have favourite subjects? What inspires you?
Usually, colours that catch my eye quickly and are not attractive to anyone at first. I was studying painting and film in Tehran at the time, and in addition to painting, I was also involved with film, especially animation. In 1992 I was nominated for the Palme d'Or in Cannes with my animated film "The Heart". That is why people in motion still play a predominant role in my paintings. Mostly my people are transparent and form new compositions by superimposing different positions from several time sequences. I layer the often affective drawings on top of each other and light forms shine through them, which take up the body parts in an old familiar form, but these are transformed into a new form by the increasingly precise elaboration of the form, which slowly takes on a life of its own. As a result, these people seem almost like a logo with strong clear lines and surfaces. A second major theme is my theory of light as form, which I have been working on for more than 20 years now and which I discovered for myself during my student days. But elements and forms from my country of origin also appear again and again, for example a tear shape, which is borrowed from a fir shape from Persia and symbolises freedom. I also wanted to take up the miniature style and its fine glazing technique again in my painting and repeat it in a more modern form, - completely abstract and without having to illustrate a narrative. But what I love most is the process itself. When something loses its original form and is transferred into something completely new, unexpected. This always requires the courage to play anew.

What are your favourite colours? And what is so special about them?
I like all colours. Really all of them. Every colour has the potential to play a primary role in a painting. Sometimes a colour is inconspicuous at first but works in combination with another colour in a completely new way and suddenly becomes interesting for me. I would be happy if Schmincke thought about expanding its rich colour selection in the MUSSINI® range.



Which two of your artworks should we show our customers?
Catalogue 1 (Light as Form grey) and catalogue 2 (Light as Form coloured) in:
The oil paintings are all done with MUSSINI® oil colours.

And where can one see your works?
Mojavari Gallery / Koppenplatz 2 / 10115 Berlin