severin’s choice: islam zian alabdeen

In September 2003 I organized an art workshop for 10 Romanian artists in a very beautiful French region, Isere, together with a Romanian-French family from Saint Laurent du Pont.

When I visited Grenoble I entered the pub ”Le Divan d’Europole” with a young intellectual, Olivier Tirard, an expert in political sciences, to visit the solo show ”Flamme d’Orange” of one of his friends, The French-Sudanese artist Islam Zian Alabdeen ( I was really amazed by the color flames of his artworks and  I knew from the beginning that I’m in touch with the art of one of the best African contemporary artists. 

Although his vision is inspired by major European artists like Klee or Klimt, he succeeded to build his own universe using a special visual alphabet extracted from the savour of the local archetypes of his native country, Sudan. All the surface of his impressive oil paintings is full with Oriental stories of everyday life mixed with strange letters and symbols of remote cultures in almost musical compositions with an exceptional sense of colour, close to my concept, archetypal expressionism.

After some hours from our visit into the pub I had the chance to meet the artist himself, a tall and strong young black man,  cordial, communicative and expansive. I made an interview with him, in Olivier’s apartment and we drank together a glass of wine. I offered him the French manuscript of my poem ”Wall and Neutrino. The Poet in New York” and the next day my friend Olivier Tirard suprised me with a unique gift, my manuscript with drawings made by Islam, he loved the poem and during some hours, in the same evening, in a pub, the manuscript has been transformed into a  beautiful artwork.

This is the story of my first featured blog on WordPress.


About Constantin Severin

Constantin Severin ( is a Romanian writer and, as a visual artist, the founder and promoter of the award-winning concept known as archetypal expressionism. He is the author of eight books of poetry, essays, and novels, and his poems have been published by major Romanian and international literary magazines. He is one of the editors of the French cultural magazine Levure littéraire.
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