Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Contemporary Turkish Artists

Turkish contemporary art has gained more notices in the last few decades as Istanbul began a biennial art exhibition, showcasing local artists as well as featuring some of the top names in international contemporary art. Here are some current Turkish artists to keep an eye on!
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Serkan Özkaya

Portait of the artist in his gallery

"I sometimes think that ideas are like butterflies, as Feyerabend calls them. They circle around in the air and anyone with a seeing eye can see them and it’s just a matter of choice to decide to take the responsibility to execute and go for them. And then the artist is mostly an exhibitionist who wants to share or actually show them to others." - Serkan Özkaya

Baker's Apprentice (2006)

A Sudden Gust of Wind
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Halil Altındere


portrait of the artists


My Mother Likes Pop Art Because Pop Art is Colorful (1998)
I had a hard time finding much out about this artists besides his work as a curator.  I know he often explores particular subcultures and also manipulates official Turkish insignia like the bank note below. Much of what is written related to him is in Turkish....


Super Turk (2002)
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Cengiz Tekin
Natürmort (Still Life), 2007

"Unsurprisingly, this spirit and humor spills into Tekin’s art, where seemingly typical, unremarkable people, locations, and situations are staged and tweaked by the artist to reveal the underlying violence, trauma, instability, and uncertainty that remains the reality for the Kurds of southeastern Turkey. Often they capture moments just before or after a violent act has taken place, but it is never clear what exactly happened (or is about to happen), why the act took place, or the identity of the victim or perpetrator. For example, in Tekin’s 2007 photograph, Natürmort (Still Life), a man lies splayed in a field of wheat, his face obscured by the stalks. Dressed in blue, his attire mirrors the fiery sky that looms above the field, making him seem like a piece of the heavens dropped to the earth. The gun in his limp hand implies that a shoot-out or stand-off of some kind has just transpired–or could it be a suicide? Is the angle of the gun, still cocked and pointed up, a coincidence of the way he fell? Or is he still alive and playing dead in order to ambush his foe, or escape further fighting?" - http://blog.art21.org/2011/07/12/turkish-and-other-delights-cengiz-tekin/



Potlatch (2009)

"Similarly in the 2009 series of three photographs, Potlatch, a flow of bank notes streams from an unidentified man’s hands into the sky (again, that fiercely blue sky of southern Turkey!), into (or out of?) the gleeful hands of a group of young boys holding bags of toys, and the residential area that hugs the exterior of the ancient city walls of Diyarbakır, where many families, displaced by the fighting in the countryside during the 1980s and 1990s, resettled. In the manner of Tekin’s other works, these photographs present more questions than answers: from whose hands are these funds flowing? To what purposes is it being used? Are the children of Diyarbakir benefiting from this influx of funds in a way that is lasting and meaningful, or is it just providing fleeting distraction? Is it really going to those who are most in need, who suffered the most from the violence, or is it just passing them by?" - http://blog.art21.org/2011/07/12/turkish-and-other-delights-cengiz-tekin/

1 comment:

  1. I always appreciate your art "field" trips! Obviously in these Turkish examples cultural setting is different, but the emotions I feel are familiar.

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