onur gülfidan

onur gülfidan

.artSümer is proud to announce Onur Gülfidan’s new solo exhibition at the gallery, Born in Heaven. Gülfidan examines the relationship that human beings construct with the world as well as human nature itself through fictions in which he brings together contradictory elements from different realms—those of the past, the present, technology and nostalgia. The works, which appear to have an infantile and innocent perspective as images of various scales and their interwoven tenses are brought together on the canvas, reveal how convoluted life is. The references that change their meanings each time we look at them take us back to our childhood, inviting us to confront some of the things we have lost.

Although there are differences in the way in which heaven has been described by various religions, it is well-established that heaven is purged of evil and pain. Despite this, the human being has been enticed by their curiosity to eat the fruit of the “tree of knowing right and wrong”, risking being chased out of this safe environment. This journey towards the unknown has provided us with a conscience, taking away our innocence. Children’s innocence is concealed by their one-dimensional perspective, void of dualities as they do not yet have enough experience to give meaning to the complexity of life.

Social media—the biggest phenomenon of our day—is a place where only the beautiful is experienced, where pain does not really hurt and where nobody is alone and could be considered as the 21st-century paradise. Just like a child escaping from the world to his/her imagination, we retreat to the virtual worlds where our fantasy selves are free. Are we postponing a confrontation? Does this paradise, in fact, enable of disable personal growth?

Gülfidan invites viewers to his imagination to exist in a different place and in a different state. This is a world in which idealized worlds—or heaven—are questioned, utopia exists alongside dystopia, where time is not linear. And he asks us the question: “Is it possible that the road to heaven is through getting on a space ship leaving from the roof of a rundown house?”

Onur Gülfidan (1974, İstanbul) received his bachelor’s degree in painting from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in 2000 and his MFA in Graphic Design and Painting at the same institution. Gülfidan opened his first solo exhibition at artSümer in 2009. His selected group exhibitions include; First Round (curated by Hakan Çarmıklı), Galata Greek Primary School, Istanbul (2018); Figure Out, Art Sawa, Dubai (2012); Realism Now, (curated by Marcus Graf), Plato Sanat (2012); If Nature is Heaven, The City is Hell, CerModern, Ankara (2011). He lives and works in Istanbul.