Taner Ceylan, ‘Unfinished Painting 3’, 2013, Kasmin

About Taner Ceylan

Taner Ceylan, who grew up in Germany before moving to Istanbul as a teenager, subverts the aesthetics of orientalism that were developed by Western artists such as Eugène Delacroix and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, creating politically engaged pieces that deal predominantly with sexuality in contemporary Turkey. Instead of depicting nude women in harems or luxuriating hookah-smokers, Ceylan paints hyperrealistic scenes marked by homoeroticism, violence, or both. Ceylan is active in anti-government protests and is inspired by the explicit, confrontational photography of Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe. “You cannot separate the Ottoman war from the Ottoman beauty. . . . If you want to reach something beautiful, you must go through hell,” he has said.

Turkish, b. 1967, based in Istanbul, Turkey