In his first solo show at BERLINARTPROJECTS, Buğra Erol takes the viewer on a journey through his mind and pictorial system with a reflective series of recent paintings and drawings. As the artist insists, the topic chooses him, not the other way round. In this case it was a sense of urgency that prompted Erol’s new exhibition.
Erol felt the need to confront himself face-on and find out what was hidden beneath – a situation assessment of sorts that helped him create a visual road map to his thought processes. This explorative journey within was reflected by his parallel move from the city of Istanbul to the Prince Islands – another journey into the unknown, closely intertwined with Erol’s interrogation of himself. This sense of exploring new territory, both internal and external, is mirrored in the titles of such works as ‘Residence in Moon’ and ‘Meanwhile in Another Reality’ – incisive accounts of the world we live in as perceived by the artist himself.
Erol’s paintings and drawings explore our troubled relationship with each other and with our surroundings, be they natural or urban, revealing the artist’s critical attitude towards the crimes of mankind in the modern age. They communicate a sense of unease and instability that is both the cause and the result of the socio-political issues of our time. Works like ‘Kingslayer’ show a man with a house over his head, adorned with medals, but also with multiple signs that read DIE and WAR whilst ‘The Residents’ show what seem to be finger puppets, brainwashed as the open skull of one of the figures suggests. Often fragmental in nature, Erol’s disjointed snippets of scenes of destruction have a graphic, collage-like feel – there is no overt narrative attempt, instead the focus is on clear expression and visual impact.
As the title of the exhibition suggests, the end line here is - be careful what you wish for. This can be seen to refer to society as a whole and how getting what we wish for has repeatedly backfired throughout human history. It can also work on a more personal level – the artist’s leaving behind of all that he wished for, perhaps translated in visual terms by ‘Way Back Home’, a shipwreck at sea with a thunder cloud floating away from it.
Buğra Erol was born in 1986. He lives and works between Berlin and Istanbul. He graduated from Yeditepe University Fine Arts Faculty, Plastic Arts Department in 2012. Multidisciplinary artist, Buğra Erol mainly works with paintings, installations to build fictional universes composed of oneiric, sometimes comical figures, based on his own fantasized reality and actuality. His works have been part of many exhibitions, including “Greetings From Now On: Territories of Commitments”, BERLINARTPROJECTS, Berlin (DE); “Beautiful Monuments of Decay”, Daire Gallery, Istanbul (TR); “Concrete Utopia”, Realismus Club, Berlin (DE); “Merz 3000”, Plato Art Space, Istanbul (TR); “90 Minute Shows”, Contemporary Istanbul International Art Fair (TR); “by Marcus Graf”, Papko, Istanbul (TR).
Image: © Buğra Erol | Stone Heart | 2017 | Acrylic on canvas | 160 x 220 cm
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