• Ahmet Rüstem Ekici: Art50.net’s New and Multi-talented Member

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Lately we have been hearing his name quite often. Active in creative fields ranging from art to design, from writing to photography, Ahmet Rüstem Ekici talks to us about his artistic adventure that currently continues at Art50.net.


    How and when did your interest in art emerge? How did you decide to pursue an art direction and set design career in television? What have you learnt throughout this process?

    I became aware of my talent for design and drawing at a very young age and I pursued it through various training courses. My close relations with all disciplines at Bilkent University Faculty of Fine Arts as well as courses in stage and set design for television pushed me into the television industry, alienating me from Interior Architecture, i.e. my original profession. Television studio and set design are intertwined with a wide range of disciplines. Carpentry, metalworking, lighting design and various materials are all involved in the business. As a TV setting is produced for the camera at least as much as for the human eye, the result is an illusion with an appearance for the naked eye and another one for the camera. Thus having photography training is also quite important. Throughout this process, I developed my skills in generating illusion and creating dramatic landscapes through lighting design. My knowledge of materials allows me to pick the right ones for my works, in line with their thematic contents, and these are usually ready-made objects. I also learnt a lot about 3D drawings since I proceed with them through the entire production process.

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, US serisi No:3

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Series No:3

    How about your main concepts and subjects of interest?

    As an individual living in an urban canter, what I witness on a daily basis offers me plenty of scenes. My identity as an element in these scenes as well as my entire community referred to as the other, constitute the basis of my artistic practice; I am mainly interested in gender, family, relationships, our existential struggle and the city with its speedy transformation. At a park where I take a promenade or in an urban transformation process that I have a chance to observe, I find many clues about the individual’s struggle for survival, his or her privacy and differences, and this allows me to continuously create new works. On the other hand, my architectural education background pushes me to create works that are mostly three-dimensional and spatial; In terms of artistic language, I feel closest to site-specific installations and digital works.


    Artists and designers that inspire you? Your thoughts on the nature of the relationship between art and design?

    Art and design are the two parts of one single entity that shall never be separated. Both serve each other and they take shape together. Their only difference lies in their existential purpose and conceptual vocabulary depending on the specific context. Thanks to the developments in fashion, show business technologies and interfaces in new media artworks, the new century has already shown us that these two instruments move on together. With his stage designs, landscapes and images, Gottfried Helnwein is one of the most inspiring artists for me. Since I am interested in street art, I also enthusiastically follow JR and particularly his large-scale projects. I deeply admire Marcel Wanders and how he relates to the space as a designer. Şahin Kaygun’s Polaroid works are one of my biggest sources of inspiration.

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Serisi No:2

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Series No:2

    Can you tell us more about the conceptual basis and technical characteristics of your series on Art50.net?

    For Art50.net, I prepared two series titled We and Us respectively. I first built a field with the 3D program interface that I regard as an infinite universe endowed upon me, and I approached this field as a stage. I created the “Us” series completely out of digital drawings, which was structured like a storyboard with three frames narrating the story of a couple wanting to get married and unified. I leave the interpretation of this LGBTI+ themed story and of its narrative structure to the audience. Whereas in “We” series, I first took the photographs of the stage that I produced as a model, and then modified them in digital environment. Like “Us”, this work offers the viewer a series of landscapes that compose a storyline. In my stage designs, I always have to build a setting in line with the existing screenplay; in my artistic productions, on the other hand, my setting and my narrative work together to build a whole and these stories gain authenticity with each viewer’s personal experiences.

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, We Serisi No:2

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, We Series No:2

    The project/installation you would love to do if you had infinite resources?

    Digital drawing provides me with endless material and spatial resources. I can navigate 360 degrees in my 3D drawing field and this constantly makes me question my touch with reality. Digital drawing also allows me to create any lighting or setting I need without budget restrictions. I wish I could produce all those 3D drawings in real life and scale as site-specific installations instead of sharing on Instagram. I wish I could make people forget reality even a little bit through a large-scale installation that would leave its mark on the city.


    The place in the world you would love to visit the most?

    I am an art traveller with serious potential. I am interested in visiting geographically or architecturally gigantic sites where one can see his presence and his physical body as a minuscule entity. I have been able to visit 12 countries so far but since my childhood, my biggest dream was to visit Capetown; and it has come true. The world is impressive and filled with beautiful things that are able to distract us from our daily problems. I hope I get the chance to experience all of them before they become extinct.


    How did your paths cross with Art50.net? What are your thoughts on online platforms?

    I have been actively writing an art and travel blog in the last 3 years. This writing adventure also extended to several magazines. My purpose in creating a blog was to support art as much as I could. As an online platform that I admired, I also promoted Art50.net’s projects, and wanted to be part of this family as an artist. I find online art platforms necessary since they can reach the buyer more easily. Although most of the art market’s activity takes place in Istanbul, we should keep in mind that contemporary art followers exist in other Turkish cities too.

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Serisi No:1

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Series No:1

    And how about your upcoming projects?

    I’m preparing for my solo exhibition. I’m preparing this series on women, the body and the relationship between women and architecture. They will be produced with architectural drawing software and based on various buildings and building elements.


    Click for the artist’s page.

  • Turkey’s New Emerging Artists Exhibition BASE Istanbul

    BASE Istanbul, 21-24 December 2017 - Galata Greek Primary School

    Works of Turkey’s emerging artists will be showcased for the first time in the BASE exhibition to be held in Istanbul at Galata Greek Primary School. BASE will also host panel discussions and dialogue sessions featuring the important figures of the art world. With 116 works of 108 artists from 31 universities in 20 cities and 75 speakers to give speeches in 32 panel discussion, 4-full days full of art!

    Turkey’s new generation artists graduating this year will meet with art-lovers at BASE exhibition that will be held at Galata Greek Primary School on December 21-24 upon completion of selections by an international jury of 23 jurors. Co-sponsored by HP, Intel, Kale Seramik and TEB Private Banking, BASE is the first collective platform for newly graduates of Fine Arts Faculties in Turkey.

    New artists from 51 universities applied to BASE with 1000 works in print, glassworks, installation, photography, visual communication design, graphic design, scuplture, painting, ceramic works, Turkish handicrafts and video categories and the distinguished jurors selected 116 works of 108 artists from 31 universities Turkey-wide to be showcased at BASE.

    Can Özal

    Can Özal – BASE İstanbul

    BASE brings together works of newly graduated emerging artists that are selected by internationally recognized names with diversified experience and distinguished voice in the art world. BASE aims to support the emerging artists in their transition to proffesional world, with the mission to help young artist be spotted by galleries, collectors, art-lovers and innovative industries. BASE is curated by the curator, art critic, academician Derya Yücel. All participating artists from Istanbul and outside the city with the support of Pegasus Airlines will have the opportunity to display their works and meet with prominent figures of the art world, and collectors and art-lovers will have the opprtunity to discover these young artists, communicating and buying their works without any intermediaries.

    Rabia Ayaz

    Rabia Ayaz – BASE İstanbul


    Panel discussion and dialogue sessions with 75 speakers

    During the exhibition visitors and artists whose works will be displayed will be able to participate in ‘BASE Talks’’ panel discussion and dialogue sessions where the speakers will share their knowledge and experiences in the art world. Here are the speakers of the 4-day program: Adnan Yerebakan, Agah Uğur, Ahmet Doğu İpek, Ahmet Elhan, Ahu Antmen, Alev Ebuzziya Siesbye, Ali Güreli, Ali Kazma, Ali Kerem Bilge, Alper Turan,Arda Yalkın, Aslı Öymen, Aslı Sümer, Ayça Telgeren, Azade Köker, Banu Çarmıklı, Banu Taşkın, Beyza Boynudelik, Burçak Bingöl, CANAN, Candaş Şişman, Cem Akar, Cem Sağbil,Coşar Kulaksız, Çağrı Saray, Çelenk Bafra, Deniz Artun, Derya Bigalı, Derya Yücel, Devabil Kara, Ebru Yetişkin, Erdal İnci, Elvan Ekren, Emin Çapa, Emin Hitay, Erim Bayrı, Esra Yıldız, Evren Erol, Gamze Büyükkuşoğlu, Gökşen Buğra, Gönül Nuhoğlu, Gülsün Karamustafa, Hale Tenger, Hamit Hamutçu, Hande Şekerciler, Haro Cümbüşyan, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Hüma Kabakçı, İdil Deniz Türkmen, İnci Furni, İpek Duben, Karoly Aliotti, Kemal Özen, Kerem Ozan Bayraktar, Marcus Graf, Mehmet Ali Bakanay,Mehmet Güleryüz, Mehmet Kahraman, Melih Görgün, Merve Akar, Merve Çağlar, Metehan Özcan, Mine Kaplangı, Moiz Zilberman, Murat Germen, Murat Morova, Mustafa Taviloğlu, Mümtaz Sağlam, Nancy Atakan, Naz Cuğuloğlu, Nevzat Sayın, Nihal Kafalı, Nur Koçak,Orhan Cem Çetin, Oya Delahaye, Pemra Ataç Açıktan, Refik Anadol, Saruhan Doğan, Selin Söl, Selim Ünlüsoy, Selman Bilal, Sera Sade, Serhat Cacekli, Seval Yavuz Seyhan Musaoğlu, Taner Ceylan, Tomur Atagök, Tony Ventura, Volkan Kızıltunç, Yasemin Bay, Yunus Emre Erdoğan, Yusuf Sevinçli and Zuhal Baysar. You can follow the program at base.ist.

    Sarp Sözdinler

    Sarp Sözdinler – BASE İstanbul


    Selection of submitted works is made by an international jury

    23 jurors of national and global prominence selected the works to be displayed at BASE. Aaron Cezar, founder of Delfina Foundation, Agah Uğur, Borusan CEO and collector, Ahu Antmen, art writer, critic and academician, collector Aslı Bilge, collector & art critic Banu Çarmıklı, Istanbul Modern Exhibitions and Programs Director Çelenk Bafra, The Armory Show Director Deborah Harris, Galerist executive director Doris Benhalegua, artist Ergin İnan, Chairman of TÜSİAD Board and collector Erol Bilecik, artist Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, photograph artist Murat Germen, painet Neş’e Erdok, Peter Drake the dean of New York Academy of Art, Galerie Voss director Rudiger Voss, Selin Söl founder of Daire Sanat, graphic designer /art director Stephan Bundi, Spot Projects founder/collectioner Tansa Mermerci Ekşioğlu, Yeşim Turanlı founder of Piartworks, graphic designer Yeşim Demir and sculptor Ziyatin Nuriev.

  • Louvre_Abu_Dhabi

    The Birth of a Museum: Louvre Abu Dhabi

    Louvre Abu Dhabi

    Louvre Abu Dhabi is more than a museum. It is one of the most important products of inter-governmental cooperation, partnership and dialogue between France and United Arab Emirates. Even its name gives hints about the cultural synthesis that it represents; milestone of modern museology, Louvre and France on one hand, and the rising star of the international art scene, Abu Dhabi and United Arab Emirates on the other. We watched the creation of this museum step by step, and finally, we came to the end of a 10-year journey. Its first baby steps, then growth and finally completion, what we have been looking for has finally come true; Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors to the public on the 11th of November. From masterpieces to its marvellous building, exhibitions to programming, Louvre Abu Dhabi has already become one of the most important institutions in the World.

    Louvre Abu Dhabi. Fotoğraf: Mohamed Somji

    Louvre Abu Dhabi. Photo: Mohamed Somji

    Everything started in 2007 when the cultural partnership between France and United Arab Emirates was officially announced to the public. The idea of existence of a Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi was very important to highlight the universality of art and culture, and the role that Middle East plays in the sector. To achieve this goal and provide guidance and expertise to the authorities of the United Arab Emirates, Agence France-Museums was set up. Under its roof, 17 most prestigious institutions of France including the Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum and Pompidou Center were brought together. These institutions started working together to provide support to the project. Even important posts of the museum are filled by people coming from these institutions.

    Louvre Abu Dabi. Tasarım ve plan.

    Louvre Abu Dhabi. Source: 3oneseven.com

    Finding the perfect location and building for the museum was of vital significance. The major challenge was to create an iconic building that would be capable of representing the universality of the museum. For that reason, Pritzker-prize winner, French architect, Jean Nouvel was assigned as the head architect. Under his supervision, a museum city on Saadiyat Island was created. Today, the museum is made of building series that take inspiration from the low-lying settlements of the area. Made of a total of 55 buildings, the museum city includes galleries, children’s museum, restaurant, cafes and shops.


    Source: saadiyat.ae

    The most iconic element of the project is the dome, which covers the majority of the museum city. It consists of 8 different layers, 180 meters in diameter, held aloft with four massive invisible towers. The dome itself is referred as a work of art. Made of stainless steel and aluminium, this gigantic dome is a result of a geometric design which is a reference to Arabian architecture such as mosque, mausoleum and madrasa. It comprises of 7.850 unique stars set in a geometric pattern. These starts are visible from both inside and out, filter the light and create a cinematic effect that is called the ‘rain of light’.

    louvre abu dabi lights

    Louvre Abu Dhabi.

    Louvre Abu Dhabi is a universal museum which aims at reflecting shared human stories across civilizations and cultures. Its collection certainly represents this mission. Director of the museum, Manuel Rebaté says ‘’with a unique global narrative and a vision to explore the history of art in a fresh context, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a place where visitors can come to understand their own and others’ cultures. Its ground-breaking architecture complements a presentation of exceptional treasures that represent a snapshot of humanity’s creativity, and paves the way for new discussions.”

    A Young Emir Studying, Osman Hamdi Bey, Istanbul ?, 1878, Oil on canvas Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi LAD 2012.017 © Louvre Abu Dhabi

    A Young Emir Studying, Osman Hamdi Bey, Istanbul ?, 1878, Oil on canvas. Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi LAD 2012.017 © Louvre Abu Dhabi

    The museum collection made of artefacts, artworks and loans start from pre-historical times to Modern and Contemporary Art, covering different periods, geographies and civilizations on the way. 600 objects belong to the museum collection, whereas other 200 are taken on loan from 13 French institutions. These treasures are presented to the audience in 23 permanent galleries. The museum has many masterpieces such as Sarcophagi from Ancient Egypt, Ottoman Turban Helmet, Paul Gauguin’s Children Westling, Mondrian’s Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black. The most important figure in Ottoman-Turkish painting, Osman Hamdi Bey also greets us in this museum. His oil-painting, Young Emir Studying is one of the star objects of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

    cezanne ve van gogh

     Left: Self-Portrait, Vincent Van Gogh, France, 1887. Oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay © Musée d’Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt. Right: The Red Rock, Paul Cézanne, France, c. 1895, oil painting, Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée de l’Orangerie) / Hervé Lewandowski.

    The museum has temporary displays. 200 objects are loaned from 13 French institutions for 10 years. Among these are many masterpieces. Van Gogh’s Self-portrait, Da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronniere, Giacometti’s Sculpture Standing Woman II, Cezanne’s The Red Rock and more are now waiting to be seen in Louvre Abu Dhabi.

    Left: Guiseppe Penone, Leaves of Light, (2016) Model, by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dabi, ©Giuseppe Penone. Right: Jenny Colzer, Engraved stone Cuneiform wall, Louvre Abu Dabi, ©2015 Jenny Holzer.

    The Museum offers more. Louvre Abu Dhabi supports and promotes contemporary art. For this reason, two important artists are commissioned to produce site-specific works for the outdoor areas. Jenny Holzer created 3 engraved stone walls called For Louvre Abu Dhabi (2017), with inscriptions from historical texts. Italian Guiseppe Penone created Leaves of Light (2017), a vast bronze tree installation with mirrors. Another important contemporary name is Ai Wei Wei. Highly renowned artist’s Fountain of Light (2017) questions the notions of globalisation.

    Louvre Abu Dhabi. Fotoğraf: Mohamed Somji

    Louvre Abu Dhabi. Photo: Mohamed Somji

    The inauguration exhibition ‘’From One Louvre to Another: Opening Museum for Everyone’’ will open on 27 December, 2017. Programmed and created by French Institutions, it will explore the history of the Louvre in Paris and will feature approximately 145 paintings, sculptures and decorative arts from Louvre and Château Versailles collections.


    Louvre Abu Dhabi in Numbers:

    • The name of Louvre is loaned for a period of 30.5 years
    • Artworks from 13 French institutions are loaned for 10 years
    • The creation of the museum was completed in a total of 10 and the construction was completed in 7 years
    • The museum city covers nearly 64.000 sq meters
    • For construction 50.000 sq meters sand was moved
    • The dome covers two thirds of the museum
    • The dome weights 7.500 tonnes- almost as heavy as the Eiffel Tower
    • The dome has 7.850 star figures
    • Interior exhibition spaces cover 8.600 sq meters
    • The overall project cost approximately 600 million Euros


    Simge Erdoğan

  • Katja Novitskova, Pattern of Activation, 2014, in the Boros collection.

    Top 200 Collectors

    ARTnews has announced the 28th edition of ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list

    The following questions: where are million dollars worth artworks, who has them and how these works meet with collectors, have been keeping the art scene busy. Recently, ARTnews has announced the 28th edition of ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list.

    (Image: Katja Novitskova, Pattern of Activation, 2014, Boros Collection.)


    With their Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art collections, Turkish collectors Halit Çingillioğlu and Kemal Has Çingillioğlu featured in the 2017 list. Some other important names featured in the list are; Danny Goldberg, Jochen Zeitz, Roman Abramovich and Paul Allen. In that spirit, ARTnews made a survey on collectors’ 2016 acquisitions. Answers reveal a lot about what has been going on in the contemporary art scene over past year.


    The survey points out how important art fairs and biennials are for bringing artists and collectors together. For example; Anicka Yi’s video from 2016 Whitney Biennial was picked up by Julia Stoschek. Similarly, works by Laura Owens, whose work appeared in 2014 Whitney Biennial entered into the collections of Salamés, Rosa de la Cruz ve Danny Goldberg this year. This past summer’s top 3 art events; Venice Biennale, Documenta 14 and Art Basel brought to light many important names. Estrellita Brodsky acquired work by Vlassis Caniais, whose sculpture she saw at Documenta, together with the piece by Harvey Quaytman, whose work featured at Art Basel. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Karen and Christian Boros and Goldberg picked up Katja Novitskova’s works, who showed in Estonian pavilion of the Venice Biennale, and Rubell Family and Walter Vanhaerents got pieces by Anne Imhof, winner of the Biennale’s Golden Lion Award for the German Pavilion.

    Anicka Yi, The Flavor Genome, 2016. Photo: Fabian Frinzel

    Anicka Yi, The Flavor Genome, 2016. Photo: Fabian Frinzel

    Another question asked to the collectors was about their source of inspiration. Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg talked about the influence of Jack Tilton, who passed away in May, on their acquisitions, while others named Maurice Marciano ve Eli Broad, both opened their private museums in Los Angeles. Another inspirational figure names was Agned Gund, who hit headlines this year when she sold a Roy Lichenstein painting for 165 million dollars.

    Jeff Koons, Balloon Rabbit (Red), 2005-2013, in the Minskoff collection

    Jeff Koons, Balloon Rabbit (Red), 2005-2013, Minskoff Collection

    Artist Jeff Koons name was cited by different collectors during the survey. Collectors Tiqui Atencio Demirdijan, David Geffen and Anita Zabludowicz mentioned their regrets for missing out Koons’ artworks in 2016. Edward Minskoff, who has Pollock’s Animal and Picasso’s 19 bronze sculptures in this collection, said that Koons’ Balloon Rabbit (Red), 2005-10 which is currently placed in the lobby of 51 Astor Plve in New York, is the cornerstone of his collection. Minskoff’s one that got away last year was Andy Warhol’s The Wild One.

    You can read find ARTnews TOP 200 Collectors list from artnews.com


    Simge Erdoğan

  • From Here to Infinity

    Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity

    Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity, Sarah Suzuki, MoMa Publications

    One of the most important Japanese artists, Yayoi Kusama is currently on focus with her newly opened museum in Tokyo. Now, we also see artist in a newly published children’s book. Written by Sarah Suzuki, the curator of MET, Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity tells the story of the life and works of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama with special illustrations made in the artist’s studio in Japan. Focusing on her successful career, the story begins when Kusama is a child living in Matsumoto, Japan, then portraits some difficulties she experienced during her time at art school and at home. Wanting to live a life in her own terms, Kusama moved to New York City, where she became famous for her polka dot paintings and giant sculptures. The book ends with Kusama’s return to Japan where she creates all of her work in a studio in Tokyo since 1977.

    Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity kitabından bir sayfa. Kaynak: dezeen.com

    Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity /  dezeen.com

    You can buy this colorful book online from Amazon (amazon.com) and MoMa Store (store.moma.org).