In its ninth edition, Contemporary Istanbul celebrates the Turkish capital’s exciting and dynamic art scene. Presenting the lively young art scene, Contemporary Istanbul has prepared for art enthusiasts in offering the future of contemporary art. Including 102 galleries, 520 artists from 23 countries across the globe, Ultra Vie has chosen our favourites from the fair to you.
Prior to presenting ‘Self Respect’ in this year’s Contemporary Istanbul, Korean artist Kwak Dong-Hoon has presented his works in selected solo exhibitions between 2012-2013. Dong-Hoon’s works are also within public collections in Korea, including in HASLLA Art World. In 2011, the artist was awarded with The 7th Cheongju International Craft Competition Award as well as The 1st Korea Young Artists Grand Prize Festival, Special Prize.
With her strong allusion to Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’, Parastou Forouhar approaches the story as she wraps a white swan with her black chador in different articulations. Forouhar’s artistic approach emphasises its black and white contrast in narrating the opposites of fairy tales, such as good versus bad.
As Turkey’s most established hyperrealist painters, Rassim Aksan explores the ‘self’ in human as social animals. Aksan’s iconic animal portraits create an absurd connection from the artist to the audience through social commentary, as it seems that these portraits hold a visual approach in looking directly to the viewers.
In his research on the cultural “resistances” from folk and mass realities, Paolo Quaresima observes modern society in his works that seem to have put away the “official” culture. With objects collected in his studio, Quaresima’s work cannot be defined as still life or landscape, but a depiction of the inside and outside reality in these resistances.
Umberto Ciceri asserts the kinetic process in her work into ‘Translatory Motion’, which is the movement of the observer’s body that includes in the movement of the image but induces the movement of the body, as well as ‘Immesive Motion’ to deepen the perception. Ciceri finds uniqueness in ‘Hypertrait’ as viewers are given the ability to perceive what they have seen, giving an experience of the revolutions and the reiteration of the cycle.
Güçlü Öztekin find the creative process as a serious learning approach in plaguing with dimensions. Öztekin paintings are often rectangular shaped which understood forms of faces, which tend to be the base of defining his practice. What was a flat face can be tuned into caricature, adding a different element in going beyond the canvas.
Ahmet Oran’s abstract paintings does not hold representational references, yet strongly forms vivid colours and thickly textured paint. Radical and immediate brush strokes acted from the figurative interpretation during the artist’s process, allowing Oran to express in large dimensions with limitless force and passionate strength.
Using photograph, drawing, video and collage, Nilbar Güres based her creative process in making artworks through questioning the norms of identity politics, cultural identity and gender discourses. The performative quality in Güres works depict female identity in social and culture scenes, interplaying between theatrical and everyday life reality.
Formed with over twenty pieces of moulded ceramic resembling a front of a truck, Burçak Bingöl’s ‘Cruise’ is covered with floral-like paintings. Its fragility through this visual contrasts with its truck-front image. Seemingly depicts a contrast with the flowers, the artwork composes the clashes of culture, gender and textures.
Ahmet Duru questions the status quo of reality and realism by deconstructing photographic image from his paintings. In critically reviewing mediated visual culture, Duru’s realistic painting methods does not merely copy reality, but creates deeper insights into it. Through abstraction methods in reflecting the problematic relationship between man and nature, the artist develops our minds visually, in a beautiful yet powerful landscape.
İbrahim Örs explores his paintings through the play of contrasts in enriching his visuals. Adapted the ‘Critical Realism’ approach in the early 1970s, Örs was within the abstract art trend by the 1980s. In dedicating the painting for Örs’ good friend, Muhsin Bilge, ‘Respect’ metaphorically and symbolically questions between the notion of respect for death and friendship.
With each titled “Untitled”, Olcay Kuş created 30 individual drawings for the “Folksongs” series. Through black and white compositions, Kuş wanted to reflect the violence that have dominated the human relationship in the Turkish society with its political struggle that have been strongly dealt with in Turkey.
Multi-faceted artist Moby presents ‘Receiving’ as his artistic approaches in proving cold pragmatism and psychological interest. In his views, Moby finds masks to be “inherently neutral” that it bring the questions for an intended reaction from the viewers. Moby’s multi-layered photographs form odd juxtapositions and decontextualised aspects within, as he explores the semiotic relationship between the signifier and the signified, creating different perspectives.
Arzu Eş’s artwork takes against monopolisation that is found in the arts community. By using bear figures, Eş’s intention for the viewers to perceive their own story from the artworks will range interpretations. This highlight’s the artist’s criticism against the system.
Sculptor artist Bogdan Rata uses his new technique of hybrid realism in observing new genetic forms of human anatomy in searching for new posthumanism. This concept originates from the notion of Rata’s work reproducing “replicas of reality” indicated from the virtual world, by using materials to create an industrial look in his work.
Daron Mouradian’s artistic approach is seen in his impressive visual language within his paintings. With a range of colours on the palette set, Mouradian executes his visual narrative into a metaphorical, surrealistic, and fantastic artworks. Speaking with imagination, the artist brings back forgotten dreams to our reality, staging spontaneous, expressive paintings.
In bringing back poetic surrealism, Giuseppe Mastromatteo subtly uses digital technology in creating images of humanity in impossible and illusory dimensions. Although the faces are expressionless, it brings in a stillness that reflects to the uncertainty of the third millennium.
Focusing on translation, transliteration, and relationships, Nancy Atakan created her own set of card game along with its rules, where each card has a translation of a text she had written titled ‘and’ into 21 different languages. Atakan’s intention in bringing the notion of communication between each other through this work questions whether the game would serve its purpose, or emphasises solitude.
Yves Hayat uses Plexiglass boxes in containing images of celebrity faces, from including Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Che Guevera, and many more. The faces deteriorated of a burnt film are Hayat’s exploration in presenting the figures’ reflection as if from a pond, isolating them in solitude.