Mehmet Dere combines two separate, but interrelated practices: photorealistic drawings and abstract painting in oils and watercolors. His drawings combine surreal imagery, totemic symbols, animals, and portraits of other artists, with politically provocative but tragicomic text. He merges figures and backgrounds freely, blending his subjects into dark areas of shading and pattern or overlapping bodies and texts. His paintings, on the other hand, are studies in gestural abstraction, struck through with calligraphic strokes and broad, sweeping gestures. Equal parts formal experimentation and precise study of reality, Dere’s work revolves around social injustice, resistance, and the politics of survival.