YUSUF AYGEC: B.C. POP ART
“B.C. Pop Art” is the title of Yusuf Aygec’s first solo show. The works of Yusuf Aygec, previously formed under the influence of “If it were me…” and seen in various group shows, are constructed upon the idea of borrowing. Due to this formation of the works, the historical essence appears either as pure reminiscences or satirization through recollections. The main reason underneath is the inclination of the works to develop a bond between the past and present rather than reiterating, criticizing and confirming any of the art historical information.
Yusuf Aygec prefers to reveal the bond he forms between the past and present time, through the usage of absurd objects. It is likely to encounter Alexander the Great or Venus de Milo or probable to come across with Old Masters as Rembrandt in Yusuf Aygec’s paintings. The characteristics of the works are the black background, the distinct emphasis on the texture of the figures similar to what Rembrandt and Dutch Baroque artists of the 17th century were skilled at, as well as the absurd objects tied onto the figures. For example, the Virgin Mary with 3D glasses holding Jesus with rainbow-colored hair in her arms, a figure similar to Leonardo’s woman portraits holding a Vogue magazine, Alexander the Great with a bow tie, Venus de Milo wearing a leopard pattern outfit and a gas mask in a Baroque portrait. The emphasized objects belonging to present time seem absurd obviously due to their correspondence with a figure from a previous era. Part of them is so far away while a part is very much a part of today. In a sense, Yusuf Aygec’s satirization of art historical references through the absurd objects is a manifestation of distancing himself from them. Rather than transforming the symbols of the past, there is an outcome of failing to put any distance even so he is eager to do it. Due to this outcome, he is not solely reiterating, neither criticizing nor confirming; he is merely satirizing past and present time.
It is feasible to explicate Yusuf Aygec’s works through the concept of Nicolas Bourriaud’s “post-production.” Post-production has an approach of appropriation rather than imitation. In post-production, there are juxtapositions that lead to a regeneration. As Deleuze and Guattari states in their book What is Philosophy?, “from the beginning, the thing becomes independent from its model.” Even though we recognize certain references, the new output has a very limited relation with the model. In his works that reminisce Old Masters, appropriate juxtapositions and manipulate certain coincidences, Yusuf Aygec produces post-production works; forming his canvas independent from his model. If in literature, literary works are in charge of following different paths from the referred work then in arts, the artwork is demanded to take an independent path from the model that it reminiscences. Here the artist distances himself from his model and diverts it instead. A situationist practice, in other words, post-production that emerges diversion, appropriates the existing to unsettle it. Yusuf Aygec flirts with post-production by enticing the old masterpieces.
Mimar Sinan Fine Art Universty
Faculty of Science and Letters
Department of History of Art