Horses and beyond the image

Fevzi Karakoç is an artist who makes the magic of horses an artistic cult. It is as if no horse figure is static. There is speed and rhythm in his paintings.


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It was a sunny spring day, but the snow was still spreading to the foot of the Alps. It was as if I was wandering in a medieval fairy tale walking from the quay of the Salzach river towards the old part of the city and passing the narrow streets with historic houses, and when I arrived at No. 9, rue Getreidegasse, I was in front of Mozart’s birthplace. I was so fascinated by the authenticity of the objects reflecting his life in Salzburg and the aura of the house-museum that I thought the portrait of Mozart by Jean-Baptiste Greuze would soon come to life.

Salzburg means both Mozart and Oskar Kokoschka to me. As I finished the museum tour and drank a blended coffee at Café Mozart, Kokoschka’s “School of Sight” came to mind. Yes, a Salzburg Sight School Summer Academy. Kokoschka founded it. A creative meeting place for artists from fifty countries around the world. Kokoschka created the academy for his students not to train them as painters, but to open their eyes to what art is. In the beginning there was only painting. Over time, sculpture, graphic design, architecture, fashion, design, performance, scenography and photography have been added. Participants develop their knowledge of contemporary discourses and the world of art within this autonomous training. They diversify their artistic production through new ways of seeing. Successful performers receive the “City of Salzburg Honor Award”. As I reflected on the significance of this award, I remembered artist Fevzi Karakoç. I was delighted that our artist Karakoç, who participated in the Salzburg Summer Academy in 1979 and received the “Honorary Prize of the City of Salzburg” with an important work, and an artist that I love, thousands of miles from my country, have been honored with the award of this ancient city.

Karakoç is one of our artists who paints the most equestrian pictures in our country. When she opened her latest exhibition, “Beyond the Image”, curated by Marcus Graf, at the Istanbul Equestrian Club, I recalled her memories of Salzburg while contemplating her most fundamental theme, the horse. . The theme of the horse is very important in art: It is the relationship of a long past, an old companionship. The first faithful domesticated animal is the horse. His strong, sincere devotion and ability to suffer endlessly can bring people closer to the horse… In situations of hunting, farming, trade, migration and war; This relationship continues until the death of the horse thanks to the horse’s endless devotion. A fast, agile, strong, selfless and sensitive animal horse. It is one of the few animals that has stood alongside humans in countless roles in times of production, travel and war, and has joined the long history of man at the earliest.

It is one of the most important themes in art since prehistoric times, because it creates a fascinating and beautiful perception with its softness, delicacy, nobility, unique shape and beauty. The theme and the image of the horse, which is central to the relationship between the artist and the horse. The most depicted horse in art of all time. His figures entered the works of all artistic movements. Certain forms reinforce the optical effects of the color much more; horse figurines as well. The horse also evokes freedom. The appearance of horses running without a rider reflects images and symbols of freedom.

You know, in many cities around the world (especially in Europe), there are statues of kings that show the back of a horse like a throne: reflecting their sovereignty in the strongest and most magnificent way; sculptures they had made to create fear and respect, to maintain their authority by ensuring obedience and trust. It is also an important art, but we don’t like them at all. They are now ornaments with their symbolic meanings. But apart from that, horse sculptures and paintings are some of the most common works of art. Many horse figures throughout art history offer iconic values.

Fevzi Karakoç is an artist who makes the magic of horses an artistic cult. It is as if no horse figure is static. There is speed and rhythm in his paintings. Horses with bent legs running in an endless space seem to feel the flow of a very ancient time. He fills his painting with images laden with equestrian motifs, expressively reflecting the dynamism of the horse and his passion for it. It makes you feel the nobility, grace, power and tension of the horse.

It presents the horse, which is a dynamic element in the most archaic structure of our culture, with new ways of seeing it as an image that shapes the art of today. In his works, he reflects an orientation that establishes new artistic realities by unsticking hidden images from the past to the present. Fevzi Karakoç is an artist who tries himself in each of his works and creates each painting with a new richness of colors and images.

A painter who travels to distant places we have forgotten on his own horses. While expanding the boundaries of his aesthetic consciousness by searching for the new, he turns to the cultural heritages of the past. In the endless quest that he lives, the time that passes always passes through the same climate; of the climate of the horses. The figures that define the space in the space with the man and the horse breathe in the same climate.

His paintings make you feel the adventure of a person who bridges unreachable distances with a horse and carries his own burden far away on horseback.

He attributes to his works images of ancient times with the meticulousness of a poet who gives new meaning to forgotten words. Wiping the dust from ancient inscriptions and carvings, gazing into the distance; It questions our collective memory and our legends. It confronts us with our most distant faces, with our dreams.

Murathan Mungan, who read the Karakoç paintings years ago, said, “They both have a story in themselves, and a story emerges when read collectively. They are like uncovered tablets; They should be aligned and read side by side. To be read collectively… That’s why they are there. They are read from the process of the story emerging from being both within themselves and with each other, one after another. In the paintings by Fevzi Karakoç that I have read so far, I have always experienced the mystery of finds that complement each other. The daylight of old tales falls on each of his paintings. The fairy tale climate of each of his canvases blends with the other… Each painting is shaped in a climate surrounding the hidden and repressed captivity of man’s relationship to life and his past. There is a position taken in the cycle of old metaphors in his figures. On the axis of the singular, a cycle shapes the figures. Silent figures, who have lost their voices in the plural and never forget their earliest loneliness, leap forward with a sculptural movement against a plain background. Perhaps this simplicity and the singularity of the figures make us read to be purified from the processes of life in which we have been polluted. The pain of simple and singular postures, the whirlpool formed on the surface always pulls us down. The horses and figures in Karakoç paintings seem to experience great loneliness in the steppe desert. They are always there where they are encoded in the secret history of our social unconscious, spiraling by a common adventure, but they are singular… Everything happens as if Karakoç were questioning the universe of meaning of the process of singularization. The general theme of his paintings weaves its deep meaning with the pictorial poems of the person who seeks himself and finally finds himself.

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