SELECTED SERIES BY TITLE

Although I conceive each piece separately, individual pieces that pose similar challenges ultimately produce a series of works.  I tend to work on several of these series simultaneously and sometimes over decades. The following is a list of selected series by title.





Departing Skies is the companion piece to Fallen, and installed above it. It is conceived as a metaphorical sky which has ridden its contents onto the mythological wasteland below, Fallen; and is now poised to lift away from it all, in a final departure.
 


  Fallen, conceived as a metaphorical landscape of timeless mythological events, for me has urgent socio-political relevance and intense personal resonance. Its imagery comes primarily from my paintings and works on paper going back to the 1980s: single winged mythological forms, masks of authority, sirens, megaphones, bones and other fragments; part organic, part mechanical; all seemingly fallen from the sky. A departing sky, which has ridden its contents onto the landscape below. These forms and fragments are abandoned; their prophecies and warnings ignored; innocence and idealism broken, and grace and hope… barely recovered through the process of art.
Fallen is a living artwork, that continues to grow, a piece added here, another removed or repositioned, but the overall impact stays the same. It is completed but open ended. 
S.A. 2017




Departing Skies drawings: Applying acrylic wash traces or stains on paper and allowing the water to carry and settle the pigment freely, creates the sense that the image, like a thought or a memory, is either forming or dissolving as we are looking at it. The image that evokes a siren, megaphone, or black hole, may be viewed as a metaphor for ignored prophesies, warnings, even screams - personal or political. The cerebral and surreal combine to reflect how the mind both recalls with urgency, and distances and “exoticizes” the knowledge and memory of painful events.
S.A. 2010




Perpetual Sunset



   
Approach



   
Distant Warnings and The Long Wait series make references to nature as well as to art history, especially the Romantic Era. This self conscious reference is reinforced by the use of images of air vents, pipes, tubes, sirens, and other “void” objects that serve as obsolete instruments of warning. The seemingly jarring objects hover in empty spaces that are enclosed or extended by the use of shaped canvas or paper. These shapes however, are conceived to reflect the permanence, and the absolute order and trapping power of authority, in both a personal and a political sense.
S.A. 2000
 
 


The Long Wait



   
The Island of the Dead - After Bocklin: Between 1880 and 1886, the Swiss artist Arnold Boecklin created five versions of his painting titled The Island of the Dead. From my childhood, viewing of the first version of Boecklin's painting by way of a small rerproduction, through endless viewings of all five versions up to the present, my experience remained the same: the first two versions of Boecklin's painting are the most powerful evocations of an unworldly stillness. This is the closest we can get to imagining death. My fifteen versions, some with the same title, others titled Island or Shadow of the Island, have simply been homages and learning experiences.
S.A. 2017




Shadow of the Island


 

Gardens and Pools


 
   Reflections



   White Tree: If a “pure” vision is at all possible, then, in my work, this would be the one: the result of my attempt at emptying my mind of all the ideas, images, and other elements of my visual vocabulary… the “tricks of the trade” which can as well become limitations as they accumulate, as they are necessary. In the “emptiness” of my mind, this image emerged as a simple pencil sketch. In time, I developed it first as an etching pictured in this reproduction, and later as a set of large paintings and works on paper. The white form rising like a column of light, smoke, or a trunk, is also a complete void, quite literally, as the untouched paper.
S.A. 2017



   To Silence-Persistent Interior



   I Saw His Departure is a series of paintings, large and small, and in various media, all initiated by a suite of lithographic prints by the same title. The repeated image is that of a head with glasses, pressurized and distorted, sometimes accompanied with a typewriter, trapped in an arched space. Here, the arch serves more as a private chamber of contemplation than monumental architecture. Although the specific reference is my father and his lifelong struggle with psychological illness, what is relevant for art are the effects of this experience on our consciousness, which are explored in these pieces.
S.A. 2017
 


   To Four Years of Silence: The tall arch shaped paintings correspond to a period of involuntary silence, 1980-84, both in recent Turkish history and in my personal life. These pieces are not meant as a political critique, but instead, as a reflection of the muting effects of the political on the personal. Trapped ambitions and ideals have a way of swelling up inside us, getting distorted and saggy. If they do find a way out, they are no longer vivid but mute. Their clumsy monumentality is what stands before us.
S.A. 1985