ARTIST:

Arif Ozakca

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Arif Ozakca
Untitled, 2007
Oil paint, gold leaf and screen print on linen
175 x 244 cm

“My work is concerned with the interplay of dualities in my own Anglo-Turkish-Cypriot heritage, and how these can be pictorially represented by emphasising the differences between Ottoman and Baroque culture and incorporating both philosophically historic and aesthetic elements. My aim, by using montage in painting, is to give the visual coupling of mixed media and mixed cultures a presence beyond a superficial juxtaposition. Montage causes these dualities to come to the fore and be explored in a deeper analysis rooted in my dual identity.”

Arif Ozakca
Untitled, 2007
Oil paint, gold leaf and screen print on linen
181 x 244 cm

“Giving expression to the experience of living between two worlds I am using a number of art historical references, including Luca Giordano’s paintings and Ottoman miniature painting and tiles. In some sense the intention of using these sources is to bring out the polarity arising between the two cultures and to convey them by their aesthetic qualities alone. For example, where the miniatures are tonally flat and richly decorative, the Baroque figures emphasize form through chiaroscuro. For me these two worlds come together through their placement in an East-End of London context, being not only a place where I have lived and worked, but also as a place inherently expressive of a wider cultural diversity.”

Arif Ozakca
Untitled, 2008
Oil paint, tempera, gold leaf and screen print on linen
173 x 244 cm

Ozakca begins each of his works with the Iznic tiles, which he silk-screens by hand onto the canvas; the slight imperfections give the aura of an unstable ground, faintly disappearing in places. The buildings with the windows that are ablaze with gold leaf, and figures are then added.

Arif Ozakca
Untitled, 2008
Oil paint, egg tempera, gold leaf and screen print on linen
176 x 244 cm

“I also want to show in my work the very process of making the paintings. By means of actually demonstrating the various stages of production from raw linen support to the coloured ground, and through passages painted in monochrome to the more fully finished sections, these methods are revealed to the viewer. Revealing the process of painting is also a process of cultural and personal revealing, representing the sequence of unconscious material of the images as they are brought to consciousness.”

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