The Turkish artist Yuksel Arslan died in April, a Turkish artist that I know, Deniz Uster (who also makes very interesting drawings) sent me a message to tell me the news, she said she saw the similarities between his work and mine. Yuksel Arslan was one of those artists that you probably would not come across unless you had a particular interest in drawing as narrative. I came across his work a few years ago and always admired the way he could compress an idea into an image.
He called himself a 'person who scribbles', the term artist he felt had too many connotations and offended his socialist sensibility, a sensibility that would cause him to draw coins as heads for the 'capitalist oriented'.
Labour integrated into Capital
He wrote across his images, sometimes to the point where the writing takes over and becomes the main pictorial element, but everything is integrated by a sensibility that always runs throughout his work. He refers to both Eastern and Western philosophers and writers in his work, and looks at subjects as diverse as politics, anatomy, religion and nature. He called his works, 'Artures', not wanting to be categorised by any existing art genres, and for metaphoric purposes used ash, egg white, billiard chalk, honey and sometime his own body secretions as binders for his pigments or directly as stainers. These materials when worked together gave his work its characteristic warm tinge.
Martin RowsonSee also: