In The Weka Of a Great Artist

This Past January We Lost Burhan Doğançay, One Of The Doyens Of The World Of Turkish Contemporary Painting. We Reflect Upon The Great Master, Who Announced Turkish Contemporary Art To The World Through His Works, Through The Words Of Ahmet Güneştekin, Another Valued Name In This Field.

AHMET GÜNEŞTEKİN
We didn’t have a very close relationship, but I could say that my window upon art and his were like two adjacent windows in the same room, looking upon the sun. Considering the diversity of materials he used in his works, he was a naturalist who was constantly maintaining communications between nature and art. He was a language expert who was able to have anything in nature say anything he might want to say.

He Was a Pioneer
Burhan Doğançay was also a pioneering artist, someone who established his own museum with the income he earned from art. To him, art meant “the street,” in a sense, and “the street” was the wall… In one of his interviews, he said, “Walls are the mirror of society.” Consider how the instinct for self-expression guided humans in ancient times toward cave walls—in the new age, too, it guides them toward walls. In his view, the figure of the “struggle with a lion” as drawn by ancient humans on cave walls was the same as “no blood for oil” as written by the “new people” on walls. Doğançay was a modest person who stood on the side of the millions “on the edge. “

Understanding Doğançay
We cannot understand people until they die, unfortunately. And it must be even harder to understand someone who spent forty-nine years of his life in discontent. For this reason, I believe we ought to do some things that could serve as consolation for those years, in a way (and it would be consolation, actually)--projects, for instance. And being able to start this requires an understanding of him. Although much is discussed about the price tags of his works, we might start out by discussing what he was expressing in his works--by looking at them from his perspective. That’s another challenge, of course. An artist is one who looks on from up high. And now he is way above us. When we grasp this, we will see where we are. Right here, I think, one could speak of a great “faceoff.

Red and Black Composition No 10, Guggenheim Museum Collection

Broken Letters, Nejat Eczacıbaşı Foundation Collection

Blue Symphony, Murat Ülker Collection