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SAMIR SAMMOUN Biography
Samir Sammoun was born in 1952 in a quaint Lebanese village perched atop the Chouf Mountain, 40 km south of Beirut. To this day, the artist vividly recalls the colourful Mediterranean landscape of his childhood. At age 21, Samir immigrated to Canada where he obtained degrees in electronic engineering and telecommunications. Since graduation, he has pursued his professional career as well as his passion, painting.
Chris Klimantiris, who began representing Sammoun in 1996, provides an eloquent reaction to the artists work. He boasts, "The first time that I saw Samirs paintings, I was fascinated by his refined technique. I felt like a time traveler, transported to turn-of-the-century Paris and the Impressionists."
Sammoun's originality and unique style have caught the attention of viewers, collectors, and art lovers in Canada and the United States. When he first showed his work at ArtExpo in New York in 1996, the reaction was immediate and positive. Robert L. Mooney, Director of the Galleries J.R. Mooney, San Antonio, Texas wrote the following: "The fresh colorful impressionistic renditions presented in his artwork have been received with unprecedented enthusiasm… Samir is a fresh and exciting talent depicting the landscapes he sees in rich colours with his own wonderfully unique impressionistic style."
Sammoun has a unique post-impressionist style and technique. When he begins painting, he carefully prepares his canvas with burnt sienna, which he applies with a pig-bristle brush then wipes with a rag to remove excess; his goal of this is allowing the grain of the canvas to show. This technique creates the illusion of light emanating from inside the painting. He then heavily layers the paint, giving a natural texture to the canvas; he paints in successive voluntary strokes, which generates a certain relief and variation in the shades.
Sammoun’s art should be viewed from a distance of a few feet. At first glance, his paintings seem blurred; only when the viewer is at the right distance does the depth of the relief and scene appear in three dimensions. Sammoun rarely, if ever, uses classical perspective. His initial sketch resembles a few blotches that outline shadows and basic reference points in the scene which is already vividly depicted in his mind. The work is then carried out in the ‘automatist’ style, relying on the number of strokes previously applied. The final result is only apparent at the end once the layers of light are placed appropriately according to the generated texture.