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The puddle on the road, the water in the glass and the giant waves in the ocean are just the same for me. Because water depends on hydrodynamic laws. All states of water are formed according to this law. The same law imposes all water movements to refer to balance. Since I have been observing and examining for almost forty years, I have advanced visual knowledge about the hydrodynamics and balance of water. I give great importance to light in my pictures. I definitely transfer light from an open source or a mysterious place. However, as the massive waves in the open seas are dense, they are opaque. But, again, by adhering to the law and balance, I make appropriate changes in terms of light transparency in the sea and the transparency of water. Sometimes I make pictures of our own beaches, but I do not transfer them directly. Also, I do not sketch any live or inanimate visual elements on the canvas beforehand. Because sometimes I transform some rocks in the region visual to a sandy beach, and I definitely add my own interpretation by furnishing beaches with rocks and sometimes trees. So, I start directly with paint. In realist paintings, the technique is measured by the photographic success rate. Because the color on the canvas and all other visual forms are subject to the boundaries of photography rules and natural discipline. In short, the artist's brush is not free. However, I liberate my brush wherever possible in my paintings. The color structures in many forms give the impression that they are as if random brush strokes. Again, in the tone range transitions in neither light nor shadow colors, I do not let colors absorb like in the photograph. I transfer most of them as independent touches. Therefore, those who see my pictures closely often say, “When you look closely at the pictures, they are complicated, and when you look from a distance, they are like photographs.” Finally, as for the paintings I make, especially the sea paintings, I do not transfer any sea paintings on the canvas, including our beaches, by looking at any sea. This is why same of my seas do not exist in nature. Each sea picture of mine is a ‘Mustafa Günen sea’ and it is unique in the world.


Translated by Semih AYDIN

I was born in Kirsehir, a mid-Anatolian city in 1956. After having suffered from poverty during my childhood, I finished primary school in Ankara. At that age I was highly intrigued by pencil drawing. By the time I finished primary school I had had several picture stories totalling two hundred pages. After primary school I was not able to continue my education due to financial problems and had to quit school. Then I started working as an apprentice in my father's furniture workshop. Later, saving my tips, I bought synthetic paints and started making my first oil paintings. We were living with our two married elder brothers in the same flat then, and I was not allowed to paint pictures on the pretext of smell of paint and with the fear that I would ignore my job. Sometimes this prohibition could become even tougher that my elder brothers would either mix the paints or empty the cans so that I couldn't paint. However, they, after struggling for a long time, understood I would not give up and let me paint pictures in a small corner of our balcony. As I worked during the day, for years I had to paint in cold winter and hot summer nights till dawn. One day, an idea struck me: Why shouldn't I paint pictures on the furniture? Such a thing had never been tried before at that time. The idea was met with some suspicion and some why-nots. At last I started painting pictures and some ornaments on the furniture. However, upon my father's bankruptcy in 1970s during the severe economic crisis, I painted pictures only for my close friends as presents. This went on until 1993 when I met Dear Mr. Nevzat Boztas, a real art-lover and great art collector. With his sincere interest and encouragement I quit my job and shut down my workshop. Then I sold my flat to make a living and started painting as a future career. As for my painting style, nature is my teacher. And in nature I chose the most difficult to achieve: SEA. My sole aim is to be the foremost artist at painting the sea and when people look at my paintings, I do not only want them to see them but also make them feel as if they were in them. And judging by what people say after looking at my paintings, I think I have made some remarkable progress on my way to reach this aim. Once a customer gave up buying a picture of rough sea, saying he felt seasick when he looked at and preferred a calmer picture. There were people expressing their feelings such as: "I felt salt water in my mouth," "I can smell the iodine spreading from the picture", "For a moment I got lost in it and felt as if I were there and were having a holiday" and so on. I am deeply honored by these remarks and they boost my hunger for painting better pictures.

1997 - Valör Sanat Gallery, Ankara-Turkey
1997 - Papedland, İstanbul-Turkey
1997 - Antalya and Mersin' Collective Exhibitions
1997 - Dedeman Art Gallery, Ankara-Turkey
1997 - İstanbul Devlet Güzel Sanatlar Gallery, İstanbul-Turkey
1998 - Deniz Müzesi Maritime Painting Competition İstanbul-Turkey
1998 - Artium Sanat Gallery, İstanbul-Turkey
1998 - İMKB Sanat gallery İstanbul-Turkey
1999 - Gallery Selvin, Ankara-Turkey
2000 - Eylül Sanat Gallery, İstanbul-Turkey
2000 - Feshane Sadabat Sarayı, İstanbul-Turkey
2000 - İstanbul Sanayi Odası Sanat Gallery İstanbul-Turkey
2000 - Deniz Ticaret Odası, İstanbul-Turkey
2001 - Ankara Hilton Oteli, Ankara-Turkey
2002 - Nevill Gallery Canterbury-UK
2002    Ankara Şehir Kulübü Sanat Gallery, Ankara Turkey

2003 - Tüyap Art Fair, İstanbul-Turkey
2004 - Artium Sanat Gallery, İstanbul-Turkey
2004 - Ankara Hilton Oteli, Ankara-Turkey
2005 - Artium Sanat Gallery, İstanbul-Turkey
2005 - Vakıf Sanat Gallery, İstanbul-Turkey
2006 - Selvin Sanat Gallery, Ankara-Turkey
2006 - Gallery Nevill Canterbury-U.K
2007 - World Fine Art, New York
2007 - Chelsea International Fine Art Competition, New York
2008 - Agora Gallery Collective Exhibition New York
2008 - CHRISTIE’S Maritime Art Auction at  New York
2009 - Vakıf Sanat Gallery Ankara Atakule-Turkey
2009 - EkavArt Sanat Gallery  İstanbul-Turkey
2009 - CHRISTIE’S Maritime Art Auction London U.K
2010 - Art Bosphorus Fair, İstanbul-Turkey
2011 - İstanbul Sanayi Odası Sanat Gallery, İstanbul-Turkey

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