Derin Çiler's motifs have their roots in the protagonists of his childhood books and movies. He takes his inspiration from eighties, nineties' -he has a soft spot for his childhood's and teens'- cartoons, video games and science fiction. Visual short stories interrupted at a point of climax. Bright colors forced into dark schemes. Satire and humour do also work for him.His art also includes poetic illustrations. Parallel realities, populated by characters reminiscent of icons and comics...
About the Artist
Curator İpek Yeğinsü examines the themes and motifs of Derin Çiler’s work and the context in which it was made:
The character Sir Filthy Mouth created by Derin Çiler (www.mekazoo.com) has a body covered with mouths. Its only purpose appears to be reacting to every bit of information he receives from the two antennas on his head, to answer everyone. Despite the enormous size of the toothbrush, he is obliged to clean each mouth one by one and this need for cleaning gives the sensation that his words are trivial and cause “data pollution”. While one image illustrates the character’s portrait, the other enables us to look at the mouths more closely. The video animation explicitly reveals the “answering everyone” state by animating the mouths. Sir Filthy Mouth successfully represents the current communication explosion and the stress it generates in individuals. With the pace of communication taking away most of our energy, time is limited while the data to be processed is heavy. Our comments on social media and the reactions to the messages we receive have thus become “reflexes”. Hours-long debate programs on TV with the so-called specialists with no output other than yelling at each other; parliament images resembling martial arts movies; the anger and the depression of the individual bombarded by endless fights and insults on social media, all appear to have concretized in Sir Filthy Mouth.
Card games are based on probability and strategy. The player’s experience and the intelligence in his moves are as crucial as his luck. Dead King Card is about a legend, Elvis Presley, who brought his own end by making the wrong moves. According to Çiler, every medallion has two faces. The inverse symmetry in playing cards reflects Elvis’s ambivalent situation, who is both physically dead and an immortal king to his fans. Another ambivalence arises from the wealth and the unimaginable pressure simultaneously brought by fame, and is represented by the microphone and the skull respectively, placed on the opposite sides of the scepter Elvis is holding. While ironically reminding us of our alternatives and their multidimensional consequences, Dead King Card calls our decision mechanisms into action.
Derin Çiler is a young freelance illustrator and designer using the alias Mekazoo. He takes his inspiration from eighties and early nineties -his childhood's and teens' -cartoons, video games and science fiction. The artist remains proudly attached to the images and characters of his childhood.He is also the founder and designer of MKNK CLOTHING, a limited edition streetwear brand. His works have been used for a broad variety of products including shoes, toys, clothing, phone cases and many more.He collaborates with giant global brands, namely Nike, Nike Türkiye, Disney Asia, Riot Games / League of Legends, Threadless and Teefury in product design. He holds a BFA degree from Yeditepe University Industrial Design Department. He exhibits his work in group exhibitions in Istanbul, and he is also part of an artist collaborative, Krüw.