By JOHN T. SPIKE, Art Critic and Historian

December 10th 2003 at Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art

“These pieces remind me of sacred works that were formerly kept in museums in drawer compartments. Such works would be taken out by scholars on occasions to be studied and meditated upon with increasing respect.

“These drawings have an incredible level of skill. Literally thousands and thousands of finely drawn lines make up each image”, (Mr. Spike then pointed to his personal favourite piece and said to the audience)…”it probably contains ten thousand lines.”

“These are drawings which take an inordinate amount of time to complete, and crucially, are utterly dependent upon the complete finesse in creating the lines without a single error.

“The pieces show an astounding control of tonal values through the skillfull use of line. (Mr Spike demonstrated his point by pointing to the gradations in one of the works).

“I consider them very exceptional pieces of work and will return to study them again”.


By James Langston

Art Educator

Art Consulate for the Florence Biennale


When I first met Safa I knew I had met an extraordinary artists because of the intrinsic quality found in his art works. Everyone walking by his display stopped and slowly slid into his intricate pieces. 

Each piece takes you into another time period; they seem to have been taken from some monastery study and made by monks under candlelight.

Every image that Safa has made has the ability to leave an “after image” on your mind, forcing one to come back to look again. Can one work contain so much information, such strong emotions and a timeless quality? This man’s works do.

I consider Safa Bute to be a master, a draughtsman of a long lost skill and one of the future legends of Art.