ALEXANDRA – Turkish artists add color to NY March art scene

Turkish artists add color to NY March art sceneEarly March in New York is all about visual art.The city fairly explodes with the influx of contemporary art from visiting international galleries and thousands of artists and their works.

Collectors and art lovers from all over the world are willing to traipse through the late winter snow and slush to see it all, and perhaps even tote a new canvas back home with themThe recent 17th edition of blue-chip The Armory Show, staged on the west edge of Manhattanand#39s midtown, is the central magnet for what has developed into a crowded orbit of smaller, simultaneous satellite art fairs in Manhattan.The Armory Show itself, held from March 5-8 this year, kicked off its own andldquoArmory Arts Week,andrdquo a citywide program of cultural events and exhibitions in all of New Yorkand#39s five boroughs.

Turkish artists occupied some prominent real estate within several showcases. Two of the 10 satellite fairs, VoltaNY and Moving Image, featured works by Turkish artists Burak Bingl and Seluk Artut respectively, and four Turkish galleries (Galeri NON, Pi Artworks, Galerist, and Dirimart) participated in The Armory Show.

Burak Bingl at VoltaNYVoltaNY is the American incarnation of the original Basel Volta (Switzerland) and 2015 is its eighth edition. Held on a pier on the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan, VoltaNY this year offered 90 international galleries, each showing a single artistand#39s work.

Istanbuland#39s Galleri Zilberman, showing Bingland#39s work, was making its VoltaNY debut.With related floral motifs running throughout, Bingland#39s 12 colorful and decorative objects andldquoskirt the line between practicality and art,andrdquo as she described them to Todayand#39s Zaman.

Her andldquoconstructed museumandrdquo diorama carried a strong theme and variations, integrating notions of belonging, identity and culture, with Turkish historical references.The energetic center was a linen dress whose floral print was transposed onto a variety of Ottoman-style ceramic vases, a trunk suitcase, a table and chair, three framed line drawings and a video.

While it all seems like eye candy, it actually fools the eye each elegantly beautiful object is imbued with its own personality and allusion.The psychological center of the series was Bingland#39s sense of discomfort as she tried to adapt herself to different cultures during years of travel between Turkey, the US and Argentina for a series of residencies.

She wallpapered her room with the bright floral template to help her andldquofind integration and get rid of my alienation.andrdquoHer video andldquoSelf-Consciousandrdquo sees her sitting (wearing the same floral-print dress) at a similarly decorated table with a ceramic vase atop.

She suddenly knocks it to the floor where it shatters. Two partially reconstructed broken vases are in glass display cases, each showing the floral pattern only on the inside of the cracked edges rather than on the outside.

One of the framed works, andldquoBroken II,andrdquo is a jumble of shiny multi-colored enamel shards clumped together as if clinging to one another for dear life. andldquoIts beauty depends on the eye of the beholder,andrdquo the artist says.

Aside from aesthetics, it also challenges our perception of the point at which objects become themselves, and the nature of their functionality.This show is the third and final chapter of Bingland#39s concentration on this particular project thread, which aims to blur the boundaries between the past and present as well as between museum display style and real-life tangibility.

Her series of three ceramic pots, each lovingly held by two forearms and hands, each wearing delicately embroidered gloves and attached to the wall, suggests how these andldquohandicraftsandrdquo have imagined another way to offer themselves to us.Suzan Batu at PhatoryIn the East Village section of Manhattan, nestled among the rows of boutiques and cafandeacutes on East 9th Street, is Phatory.

Itand#39s a charismatic one-room gallery owned by artist Sally Lelang, who opened a solo show by Istanbul-based painter Suzan Batu on March 7 Lelang obviously likes what Batu creates, since this is her third exhibit there.Batuand#39s new andldquoJewels of Your Soulandrdquo uses candy-colored swirls of acrylic paint in centrifugal patterns with added jewel-like shapes along for the ride.

This show, however, was a miniaturized version of her well-known wall-sized kaleidoscopic color riots, and with special new added elements, a departure from her previously unadorned canvases.Represented by Dirimart at The Armory Show two years ago and having shown several times at various galleries in Istanbul, Batuand#39s work was outsized and they engulfed the very walls they occupied.

With this new show, Batu telescoped her 14 canvases down to human size and added bordello kitsch: feather boas and jeweled fringe on the tops and bottoms, respectively.andldquoKitsch is the last frontier,andrdquo Batu declared to Todayand#39s Zaman at the galleryand#39s congenial opening.

Scores of viewers familiar with her previous work crowded in to check out how exactly she was going to incorporate the burlesque elements into her comparatively more reserved — but not at all shy — style of stenciled and labor-intensive (andldquoIt takes forever!andrdquo) airbrushed designs displayed there in the past.Batu has simply found herself.

andldquoItand#39s me. Iand#39ve always loved these kinds of things,andrdquo she exclaimed, referring to the baubles, bangles and beads.

andldquoItand#39s who I am Next show, weand#39re going to have a dress-up opening, I promise!andrdquoAmid the frivolity and demimonde ethos, a soulful little poem by Rumi was printed in her showand#39s booklet — clues to the many puffy tufts of fine feathers glued atop the canvases: andldquoMy soul is from elsewhere, Iand#39m sure of that, and I intend to end up there. Iand#39m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.

andrdquoLelangand#39s view of Batuand#39s whimsicality is at the very least andldquobon vivant,andrdquo but much more: andldquoHer work is the affirmation of the stance against oppressive voices,andrdquo she explained. andldquoIand#39m committed to what Suzan does.

It confronts the domination of the old guard. Their rules are gone.

We donand#39t play by them anymore.andrdquoThree prints from Turkish artist Burak Binglandrsquos 2011 series andldquoUnforeseen Transformation.

andrdquo Bingl was represented by Galeri Zilberman in this yearandrsquos VoltaNY fair, which ran March 5-8 in New York.A work by Turkish artist Suzan Batu, displayed as part of her solo show at Phatory, an art gallery in New York.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman