Best Modern and Contemporary Artists 2014
Four of my artworks are presented in this book, curated Salvatore Russo and Francesco Saverio Russo. It contains a review of my works.
“Beyond what has been said by the great masters of the past. Beyond figuration and abstract art of shapes. Beyond every century, every place, and every known being. Bilge’s material compositions come to life. A master who shows us his faces that seem to come from the netherworld. Unknown faces that come to inhabit our world. Faces that invade the observer’s mind seducing his soul.”
Salvatore Russo, Art Critic
This photo shows me with one of the works in the book.Two Faced World is part of my Carved Wood Series (2011). Two Faced World is part of my Carved Wood Series (2011). Many of the portraits in this work are facing in two directions representing “two faced” people who say one thing and do another. In my experience these behaviours are very destructive in personal relationships.
From a broader perspective the image is a metaphor for the political double dealing and deceit that takes place in international affairs in the world, regardless of the effects on the lives of countless ordinary human beings.
I use my Turkish Whirling technique in the blue area to depict the fluid nature of political decisions. This is the backdrop for large portraits representing the hidden power brokers working behind the scenes to influence the course of world events. The lower green area contains smaller portraits representing various national leaders and revolutionaries. The fluid whirling forms and small faces expressing emotions signify the distress caused in the lives of ordinary people.
All of the works selected to be in the book are from my Carved Wood Series. In 2009 I bought a cedar tree in the mountains in Turkey. I brought it down from the mountains and had it sliced, dried, sanded, sealed and prepared before carving the wood into the shapes ready for undercoating and painting. This took about 2 years.
In this work I use my Turkish Whirling technique to depict a head as the master of a body that works to feed it. This image conveys my view that the course of events for all human groups are determined by masters whom the rest serve, knowingly or otherwise. These masters wield immense power, overtly or covertly. The master may take the form of an individual, a select group, or those representing a political or religious ideology. The power might be coercive or persuasive, either way the masters influence the course of world events and determine the circumstances that affect the lives of ordinary people.
The carved face in profile represents human energy and creative action in the world. This bright image is contrasted with a darker space at the back symbolising a deep black hole in the human mind. It is a metaphor to express the idea that human energy is consumed by catastrophic events, unresolved problems and dysfunctional relationships. These issues act like a black hole in space; their gravitational field draws the energy of individuals, families, communities and nations. This energy disappears forever and cannot be used in a positive way in the world.
In this work I experimented with my dissolve technique using various combinations of cedar resin, oil paint, and alkyds. I created the large profiles to convey my idea that the human condition is similar no matter where we live on the planet, or how different we may think we are. Everywhere the world turns each day, time passes, the seasons unfold and human life continues. There may be different races, communities, and cultures with varying political, religious and ideological viewpoints. Yet everywhere there is a human need to be secure and form close bonds, a drive to create, an endless struggle for survival and conflicts based on the desire for dominance. Many relationships must be managed; those between men and women, between different groups and societies, and between competing ideas and beliefs. Individual human experience is widely diverse and yet uncannily similar the world over.
Original Critique in Italian
Oltre tutto ciò che è stato già dai detto dai grandi Maestri del passato. Oltre la figurazione e l’astrattismo della forma. Oltre ogni era, ogni luogo è ogni essere conosciuto. Oltre tutto questo, nascono, le composizioni materiche di Bilge Gültekin. Un Maestro che ci presenta i suo volti, che sembrano provenire dall’oltretomba. Volti di esseri sconosciuti, vengono ad abitare il nostro mondo. Volti che invadono la psiche dell’astante e ne seducono l’anima.
Salvatore Russo Critico d’Arte citato “The Best Modern and Contemporary Artists 2014”