Behind Squared Faces by Thomas Salamonski

After his first exhibition in the UAEat the World Fashion Festival Awards, Thomas Salamonski from Austriahas returned with his amazing artworks in the middle of the ART HUB Abu Dhabi. The grand opening happened on Saturday November the 9th, at the Galleria Mall Al Maryah Island Abu Dhabi.

WFFA with HE Mr. Yaqoob Al Ali

Thomas has unveiled three of his stunning artworks created especially for the UAE, inspired by the local culture and traditional symbols – the Horse and the Falcon.Let’s find out more about the artist and about the inspiration behind his works.

WFFA Oct 2019 All Expo Paintings

1. Who is Thomas Salamonski?

A contemporary artist, born in Vienna, with a tradition in ART inherited from his family, especially from his mom who was drawing postcards during the 70’s.


2. When did you discover your talent for painting?

The story of a family friend says that when I was 5-6 years old, while my family was socializing at a family event, I was mainly busy and focused on drawing on a white paper while the elders were talking. It seems that this was the point when my family discovered that I am talented at drawing and they decided to guide me towards ART school.

WFFA 2019 – with Dennis Osadebe from D&D Clothing and Tailoring

3. Tell us about your first painting. When was it and what was it about?

It was in 1996, Oil on canvas, about people, hats, faces expressed in black and white, which was an assignment given at school.And I still have the painting at home…although it was offered to me to sell it for a large amount of money.

WFFA Oct 2019 with HRH Sheikh Obaid Bin Suhail Al Makhtoum

4. What state of mind should you have to start painting your next artwork?

When I start painting, my mind and body should be relaxed, mind free, and as I go on in painting more, I get inspired more. The first is the sketch, then I look at it for an hour or two, and then I start to paint. There are times when the inspiration catches me over night and once started I don’t stop until I finish the work.

5. What music goes hand in hand with your art work?

Electro Swing, ParovStelar, and the Rock from the ‘80s.

WFFA Oct 2019 with HE Mr. Kamlesh Prakash and Mrs. Veer Mala Prakash – Ambassadors of Fiji

6. When you started your collection of portraits, who was your muse?

It all started with an unfinished portrait of the international model CARA Delevigne which was the trigger point to switch from a classical portrait to a revolutionary new style of combined graffiti and portraits into one concept.

7. What is an a normal day like for you?

(smiling)….No day looks like other day. A normal day doesn’t exist.

WFFA Oct 2019 Red Carpet with Trophy Award

8. Is there a hidden meaning in any of your artworks?


9. What is the message you want to share with your audience through your art?

It is normal as humans to protect ourselves with different “masks” that we make use of them in different situations and through my portraits;I try to unveil the feelings and the facets of those masks. I don’t copy what I see, I paint what I feel.

WFFA Oct 2019 Press Conference

10. Where was the strangest place to paint and why?

When I was younger, I was given a job to perform live on the stage body painting on 2 girls, somewhere in the middle of nowhere at a disco club.

11. What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your foot-steps?

Look at others, learn from others and find and develop your own style! Never copy!

WFFA Oct 2019 Media Wall

12. What is the funniest question you have ever been asked in an interview?

The question you just asked me earlier about the strangest / weirdest place to ever paint. Andthat triggered a lot of memories in my mind (untold funny stories).

13. Which artist (painter) is your favorite and why?

The Austrian legend Klimt who has used gold in his artworks just as I do.

WFFA Oct 2019 Ballroom

14. Your work gets worldwide appreciation and recognition, including the latest award BEST ARTIST of 2019 received at the World Fashion Festival Awards. How do you feel about this? Did it make any change into your life?

I am proud that my work has crossed the borders of Europe and opens new doors and new opportunities to other continents and countries.

15. If you didn’t become a painter, what would you be doing right now?


WFFA Oct 2019 Expo Pavilion

16. Did you ever think of doing a featuring with another painter?

If yes, tell us more. I would love to have the opportunity to work with Hopare, a French graffiti artist. But I haven’t had any “duets” on any of my artworks.

17. You have recently exhibited in the UAE, both in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi. How was your experience there?

Different cultures have different mindsets, which open the horizons of me projecting new ideas in future projects.

WFFA Oct 2019 Awards Ceremony

Photo credit: Wolfgang Nelson and Sandra Salamonski