Recently, we have cried with silent screams. The pain has doubled. There has been death in the world at any moment; but being inside it, being within, the pain felt much more…
The new exhibition ofGürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu, the caricature and graphic artist who has won many international awards, is to be opened in 16th March and is dedicated toÖykü Kuran whom is his foster daughter died recently. Just a little note for non-Turkish speakers,”Öykü” means”Story” in Turkish and is used as a person’s name as well.”Lasting Story” will be held in Galeri Işık and Ekşioğlu will attend the exhibition under the name of his foster daughterÖykü.
The artist who was born in Mesudiye in 1954 has been drawing caricatures since 1977. He accomplised many mixed and personal exhibitions in Turkey and abroad.
With his caricature published in the New Yorker’s cover in anniversary edition for the september 11 attacks, his fame was spread much more.
His works makes you smile, run after and always remember. The cat picture with mouse fluttering around, the bird sat on a cloud, a piece of sea and fish sat on a tree, the cat whose tail burgeons in a cut tree, the lighthouse cat, the cat who makes his tail a pillow for himself…
The interview I have made with Gürbüz Doğan EKŞİOĞLU is kind of a short summary of his caricature life;
How did the caricature passion arise; can you tell us about your way to caricature?
My father (Şevket Ekşioğlu) would love humor and write poems; I was interested in Turhan Selçuk’s comic strip of Abdülcanbaz in Milliyet newspaper and Ali Ulvi Ersoy’s brilliant and philosophical caricatures in The Republic newspaper. My main purpose was to be a painter. During my education in Graphic Design Department of Applied Fine Arts School of State (Marmara University Fine Arts Faculty), the samples on the relation between illustration, painting and caricature determined my style.
You are a illustrator the New Yorker, one of the leading magazines in USA, works with very often. Is there any other magazines you work with?
Besides New Yorker; magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Forbes, New York Times Book Review in USA published my works. In Turkey, I made illustrations every month for 9 years for Hürriyet Gösteri magazine. I worked with many of them: Milliyet Sanat, Görüş, Media Cat, Milliyet Kitap etc…
We can see the impact of Rene Magritte on your works. Do you think there really is such an affection and appreciation?
Rene Magritte has made paintings in surrealism without deforming. His solutions are like a formule and used very often in graphic design. So it’s clear that he affected me a lot as well; but beside him, I have been affected by many illustrator such as Soul Steinberg, André François, Sempe Folon, Cordon, Brad Holland… And in painting art, I was influenced by many painter especially by Van Gogh.
What is the situation of illustration in Turkey? Do we have promising young people?
There are a large number of promising young people in Turkey such as Bora Başkan, Cem Dinlenmiş, Erkin Gorey and they try hard. I’m not only expecting but also sure that they will produce many art pieces in the international arena.
Then what is the secret of your great success?
The secret is the continuous synergy of love and work together.
You give messages on environment, nature and many other subjects and people in your illustrations. Of course, cats should not be forgotten. How did this interest for cats emerge?
Until 1991, I had made only one picture with a cat. When New Yorker magazine published work of cat, I focused on cats and the demand has also increased my production. Well, we also love our 14 year old cat, Nazlı.
Could you tell us a little bit about this exhibition and your”Endless Story”…
It’s quite difficult to talk about Endless Story these days… The pain is just too fresh.Öykü (meaning”Story” in English), was the 17 year old daughter of my sister-in-law. She had a very beautiful soul and look. She was very cheery, understanding, smart. She would read lots of books and write poems and she even discovered philosophy in such an early age. She would paint very well and she was also successful in her school. The unexpected death ofÖykü 15 days ago made me name my exhibiton after him,”Endless Story/ BitmeyenÖykü”. If she we alive, she would come to the exhibition; but now, she is already in the exhibition with her name.
Many of Ekşioğlu’s works are published often. In poster, wall paper and such forms…
In 2008, Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik used 12 works of Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu for its project of trimming of metro cars. Four metro cars were covered with works designed especially for women, providing a visual carnaval. He express the difference between these works and paintings in an interview:
“Let’s say we have a painting of Van Gogh and it’s about autumn. If you put that painting on a pillbox for an autumnal allergy, it’s illustration. But if you exhibit it in a museum, it’s painting. And some of works are the same as well. Also now, we see that disciplines are getting into eachother. My main purpose is to express something with drawings. I draw what I and other people feel but are not aware of; when I share it, I become happier.”
The latest works of Gürbüz Doğan Ekşioğlu;
2010 97*97 cm.
You still have time until 9th April to visit this must-see exhibition.