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Gültekin Bilge

We Are Silent

Oil on Paper / H55 x 53cm / 2013

Betrayed

Oil on Paper / H55 x 52cm / 2013

This Unhappy World

Oil and Mixed Media on Wood / H40 x 40cm / 2013

Faces Of The World

Oil and Mixed Media on Carved Wood / H65 x 70cm / 2011

This Is Our Life

Oil and Mixed Media on Wood / H35 x 60cm / 2012

Unknown Question

Oil and Mixed Media on Board / H70 x 52cm / 2010

ARTIST STATEMENT

I see all life like a painting. My works express my emotions about the world we inhabit and the relationships we develop on a personal, social and political level. Painting reflects my experience of life; with much light and darkness, some events appearing very clear on the surface, but many hidden agendas going on in the background.

Constant themes I explore are ongoing human struggles about identity, dominance, ideological brainwashing, power and powerlessness, betrayal and double-dealing. I work with fluid forms to create a dense texture composed of many portraits, ranging in size from very large to tiny, some obvious, others hidden deep within the composition. The large portraits provide structure and the smaller portraits are woven into the texture. The large and tiny portraits symbolise how similar patterns of behaviour and events play out in people's personal lives and also at the level of communities, nations and international politics. The large and small juxtaposition is also intended to convey my thoughts about the relationship and impact of world events and major ideologies on the conditions of each person's individual experience. Yet although each person experiences their own individual fragment of the world, there is an identifiable range of emotional responses that are part of our shared human condition.  Oil is the primary medium.  I developed the Turkish Weave, Turkish Whirling and Dissolve techniques by mixing oil paint with alkyds and resins to create my own language of expression that reflects my Turkish cultural heritage.  Since 2010 I began painting on carved wood as a means of breaking free from the convention of working within a rectangular frame.  In 2009 I purchased the trunk of a Cedar Tree and had it sliced horizontally and vertically.  It takes about 18 months to slice, dry, sand, carve and prepare the wood prior to painting. Early influences were Bosch, Rembrandt, Picasso, Klee, Kandinsky, and Chagall, but mostly I work from nature.

Biography

Gültekin Bilge is a Turkish Cypriot Artist, born on 13th October 1945.  He received his M.A. from the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts where he studied under Devrim Erbil and Ali Çelebi before graduating from the atelier of Dinçer Erimez in 1972.   Bilge’s journey through life has not been easy.  He was unable to paint for many years after losing the use of his right hand when he was shot in the 1974 Cyprus War.  This injury led to a very dark period in his life, full of anger, pain, frustration, and an increased sense of personal and political powerlessness, isolation and loss of identity.  These emotions find full expression in his artworks.  During the long period of recovery he worked as an art teacher whilst following developments in contemporary art and searching for ways to create his own unique style that could be recognised as Turkish.  For many years after receiving his injury Bilge was dissatisfied with his works and destroyed them.  Since returning to painting full time in 2005 he has worked at a furious pace to build up his portfolio.  He did not exhibit internationally whilst living in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus because of embargoes on trade and cultural exchange.  However since moving to Scotland in late 2011 he has exhibited in USA, Australia, and throughout Europe.

Solo Exhibitions

The Human Spirit  Feb 2013 CTA Galleries Ltd, Inverness, Scotland, UK

Beautiful Seeds of Destruction Apr-Sept 2011 Buyuk Han, Lefkosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Endless Expression Apr-Sept 2010 Buyuk Han, Lefkosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Cyprus Time Bomb Apr-Sept 2009 Buyuk Han, Lefkosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Antalya Paintings Apr-Sept 2008 Buyuk Han, Lefkosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Antalya Paintings Apr-Sept 2007 Buyuk Han, Lefkosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

 

 

Group Exhibitions

Art Monaco 2014 April 2014, Grimaldi Centre, Monaco

Leonardo Meets Canova April 2014, L’Agostiniana Gallery, Piazza Del Popolo, Rome, Italy

EGOS VI Exhibition Mar 2014, Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, Pall Mall, London

1st Italian Biennale of Creativity Feb 2014, PalaExpo, Verona, Italy

LifeART WorldWide Int Expo / Art Competition Oct / Nov 2013, TAFE Institute, Brisbane, Australia

Little Treasures March / April 2013, Galleria de Marchi, Bologna, Italy

New York Art Expo, March, 2013, Pier 92, New York, NY, USA

London Art Biennale, January 2013, Gagliardi Gallery, Chelsea Old Town Hall, London

Amsterdam Showcase, December 2012, Global Art Agency Gallery, De Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

 

 

Upcoming Group Exhibitions

Art Antwerp 2014 June 2014, Antwerp Expo Forum, Antwerp, Belgium

 

 

 

 

Publications

The Best Modern and Contemporary Artists; EA Editore 2014

Artisti a New York; International Artists at New York Art Expo; EA Editore 2013

International Contemporary Masters Vol VII; World Wide Art Books 2013

Arte Energia Creativa; Catalogo Internazionale Di Artisti Contemporanei; EA Editore 2013

 

 

Recognitions & Awards
Award for Artistic Merit; London Art Biennale (2013)

2nd Prize; LifeART WorldWide (2013)

 

 

 

Related Work History

Art Teacher 1975 – 2005

Bayraktar Orta Okulu, Lefkosia

Özgürlük Orta Okulu, Famagusta

Mehmetcik Orta Okulu

Pergama Orta Okulu

Nendüstri Meslek Lisesi, Famagusta

Çanakkale Ort Okulu, Famagusta

 

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