Contemporary Turkish Art


Since the 1980s, Turkey has been establishing itself as a center of contemporary art, with galleries and institutions proliferating and local biennials giving artists increased international visibility. Mixing the globalized art world and local histories bridging Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic traditions, contemporary Turkish art is decidedly diverse and often provocative. Acting as a fictional design collective, Extramucadele (Extrastruggle, in English) produces symbolic and satirical sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and film to examine contemporary Turkish society’s conflicting religious and political ideologies. Kezban Arca Batibeki’s mysterious depictions of women, sometimes faceless or masked, explore female empowerment. In his hyper-realistic paintings, Taner Ceylan portrays homoerotic sexuality as he reimagines the narratives of Orientalist paintings to assert the Turkish histories that the earlier genre either romanticized or ignored.