Olcay Kuş I Rips and Gestures
By Fulya Baran @fulyabrn
Olcay Kuş (1985) is an emerging artist, living and working in Istanbul for seven years. He had four solo exhibitions entitled “An Ordinary Day” (2011, Istanbul), “Game Center” (2014, Istanbul), “Masterless Tranquility” (2015, Istanbul) and “Going Uphill” (2017, Istanbul).
Street is an inspiration for his works in a way that he could observe changing walls as a reflection of humans’ actions. Olcay Kuş, explains this interaction with his own words, saying “Every day a bulk of posters and flyers are posted and torn apart.
All that graffiti and notes… the repetitive nature of this cycle creates impressive visuals on the walls, which nurture me artistically. I am using this as a technique and applying the technique on my own canvas. In other words, I am turning my canvas into a wall. The themes of my works are diversified. Mostly a single subject suffices. One of my basic aims is to produce visuals uneasy to understand at first sight, by bedimming the questioned topic through using my main materials –paper, glue and acrylic paints-.”
Other than walls, Olcay Kuş observes that the visual language of media, especially newspapers, has significant impact on humans’ behavior on the street. Therefore, he focuses directly on gestures without discussing gender or ethnicity. That is the reason of the viewer can’t easily distinguish the genders of figures in his painting. The focus is on the acquired gestures under the effect of media’s visuals.
There is a tight relationship between the themes and mediums of Olcay Kuş’s works. In his first solo exhibition “An Ordinary Day”, he depicted streets and daily life while using newspapers and spray paint on canvas evoking posters on the streets. The viewer can also feel the apparent irony of Kuş’s works. It was dominant in artist’s second solo show “Game Center”. For instance, in one of his paintings he depicts a quarrel in a parliament’s meeting and uses his own face as smirking between the other figures. In his last solo show “Going Uphill”, he focused more on gestures of powerful political leaders that we’ve used to encounter on TV and Internet.
Olcay Kuş opens a space for viewers to see actually what we are surrounded and affected by. And show them in a holistic work with aesthetic qualities.
Photo credit: Kayhan Kaygusuz. Courtesy of the Artist and Gallery Art On İstanbul.