Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Featured Artist: Erdem Kucukkoroglu

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, the artist


I was born in Istanbul, Turkey where I currently living and working. I have never seen my art making as a hobby, and have always considered myself a painter. I have been drawing since my childhood, imitating toys and cartoon film characters.

I took some painting and drawing courses during my high school years. During that time, I kept drawing and painting peysages (landscapes) and naturmorte (still life) replicas from Turkish and European artists. I made my very first oil painting when I was 14.

I don’t know why, but I never pursued art study at university level in those years. I was reading science magazines and interested in science at that time in my life.

After I gained a bachelor of science in Mathematics from Istanbul University, I taught Mathematics in a high school for a short term. It was obligatory for students who wanted to become Mathematics teacher. After that training period, I gave private Mathematics lessons at student's house or at my house to earn a living.

Later on, I decided to take art course at Mehmet Güleryüz Studio work in abstract paintings. That art course lasted for four years, from 2000 to 2004, which in duration paralleled my mathematics study at the University.

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Untitled, 2004, 40 x 30cm, charcoal on paper. This work was shown at the 'IV International Biennial of Drawing 2004' in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

Mehmet Güleryüz is one of the leading Turkish artists. Studying under Mehmet Güleryüz was an important experience for me. I learned much from him on what makes a work of art. He was able to help me work out the problems of form and color. Combining the great influence from my studies with Mehmet Güleryüz and my passion for Mathematics, I decided to work on geometric abstraction.

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Untitled, 2001, 
150 x 100 cm, acrylic on paper

I currently work as a freelancer graphics designer. I found that painting and graphics are different disciplines, but the two have something in common, and that is the design element which I am always fascinated with. Giving private mathematics lessons is now my second occupation.

About my work

Generally speaking, I have two working styles. First is a body of work that I make only using black lines on a white surface. These pieces have a strong reference to calligraphy. The other body of work consists of colored forms on canvas, the forms dependent on mathematical ratios.

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Untitled, 2006, 
24 x 18 cm, charcoal on paper

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Geometric composition, 2009, 
80 x 60cm, acrylic on canvas

I like to refer my work as geometric abstract paintings. I use the Golden Ratio of proportions for compositions and canvas sizes. I compose my works using visual aesthetics and rhythms of calligraphy. Besides Mathematics, my work is influenced by traditional Turkish, Chinese and Japanese calligraphy.

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Geometric construction series
2008, 44 x 33cm, charcoal on paper

I visited a great exhibition on eastern and western calligraphy that included Japanese Calligraphy Master Harada Kampo Soshi’s works in May 2010 in Istanbul. It was truly fascinating and inspiring to see Kampo’s work in person.
Related links: Kampo Cultural Center in Kyoto, Japan

As for my art making process, I normally start by drawing compositions in my notebooks. I then re-render the drawings and paint them on large-sized canvas or paper. Drawing sketches is very important for me, as I usually draw and erase repeatedly, until I embody the form in my mind onto my drawings.

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Geometric construction series
2009, 24 x 18cm, charcoal on paper

For paintings on canvas, I prefer using acrylic colors. However, sometimes I do use other materials such as oil color, inks and charcoals, calligraphy papers and textured papers for collages.

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Geometric construction series, 
2008, 27 x 20 cm, collage on paper

Current and upcoming shows

I am showing three drawings in the World Gallery of Drawings Competition in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. The organizer of the this Drawings competition is Osten Gallery, the exhibition is on displayed through December 10, 2010. I feel honored that my drawings were selected by international jury to participate in this show with many talented artists from other countries with different styles and techniques. The ceremony of the opening and announcing of the winners of prizes will be held on 16th September 2010 in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. All are welcome to attend.

From L to R: Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Composition no.3, no.6 and no.2
2003, 235 x 145cm, acrylic on canvas.

Currently, I am planning a solo exhibition of my latest work to be installed in 2011, at the same time looking for other exhibition opportunities. I do not have a gallery representation, but I am seeking one, which could be an international venue.


Please visit my website: geometrivesanat.com

Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Untitled, 2005, 32 x 24 cm, charcoal on paper

Image credit: All images courtesy of Erdem Kucukkoroglu, Istanbul, Turkey.