Mixed media painting by Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay
Galeri MCRD presents 'All About Power' solo exhibition of Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay featuring 14 paintings. She addresses the timeless theme of power through hybrids of symbolic story telling.Painting freely from her psyche, mining her unconscious for dream like imagery, she comes up with otherworldly compositions commenting ironically on human condition. Having worked in corporate management for a decade, she has experienced how power is being wielded directly; so this subject came to her naturally.
September 12-15 2019
Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay is interested in painting the unknown. While painting portals into alien worlds, dream landscapes and new realities, she devises complex stories about the nature of being. There is never just one reading of her art. Her doodling is like improve jazz rifs on a theme, and her work suggests ambiguity and ambivalence ; she seeks new possibilities endlessly. At this solo exhibition she addresses the timeless theme of power through hybrids of symbolic story telling.Painting freely from her psyche, mining her unconscious for dream like imagery, she comes up with otherworldly compositions commenting ironically on human condition. Having worked in corporate management for a decade, she has experienced how power is being wielded directly; so this subject came to her naturally.
Her works are infused with a dreamlike, surreal sensibility; and she dresses unsettling themes like power in sparkles, gemstones, and fantasy. Her kaleidoscopic images are a swirl of beauty and hinted violence, and she uses beasts, birds of paradise, butterflies, fish and flowers as well as dragon-bird creatures to animate her cartoon-like characters.She combines representation and abstraction, with a tendency towards gesturalism. She is influenced by diverse references, from Surrealists to contemporary artist Glenn Brown, including futurists as well as symbolists like Mihail Vrubel. Seeing Surrealism as an opening to express her inner self, her mind's eye likes to play: a compendium of images that are by turns poignant, comic, skillful, naive, grotesque or elegant. None are what they seem at first sight. They are designed to provoke thought on the caprices of perception and mysteries of mental pleasure.
While her bold paintings obviously look back to the painterly experimentation, her imagery is also heavily influenced by the current video-game graphics; hence the contemporary end result. Her figurative paintings show abstract elements, interacting on the pictorial plane, creating a deep, but ever changing pictorial space of multi focal character.The viewer is forced to readjust his/her position at every new look. Her de-focalisation of the image is disconcerting; most of her paintings can be hung upside down and become a new painting. Her bold colors and sinuous forms further enhancing the bombastic effect of her intricately structured compositions; her work becomes more and more 'hyper' like her, and also reflect her obsession with color.
Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay started to get involved with paints and paintings as a child as the daughter of her art teacher mother; and received her foundations from her and her large art history books collection. A major establishment in Turkish art history using a blend of Turkish and French curricula, Galatasaray High School she attended from 11 to 19 years old provided a favorable environment for arts education.After winning the first prize in Turkish Airlines' national competition, she has been invited to the State Academy of Fine Arts, but she has attended Bosphorus University Business School. After working in corporate management for a decade, she started to pursue her vocation in 2007, self studying painting in her Istanbul studio. She has educated herself in the art fairs, museums, galleries and bookstores of Paris, London and NYC, focusing also in psychology. She attended the education programs of Sotheby's Institute of Art NY , London and IESA Paris.
She had her first exhibitions at Galeri MCRD she co-founded, starting with All Arts Istanbul Fair in 2013 and continuing with Contemporary Istanbul 2014.