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Zeynep Şanlıer Tansuğ, December 2015

When does the age of wisdom begin for an artist? We can talk about various criteria in response to this. However, it will not be wrong to say that Ali Raşit Karakılıç has opened the doors to a brand new and exciting era from a point of view of material, esthetic, structure, style whether it can be defined as the age of wisdom or as searching.

In the “Dönüşüm / Transformation” exhibitions he would transfer the ‘moments’ he seized at the junkyards, second-hand shops to canvas and from the canvas to many other backdrops, cutting and slicing he would re-transfer them again and again and he created a brand new whole.

While doing all this, it is possible to say that he kept his distance to what is coincidental, although he carried ‘ordinary’ moments to his works; that he arrived at the core with a deconstructive understanding. Yet, with these new works, Karakılıç shows that he has started to tell a brand new tale, and in order to tell his tale he is open to all deducted data.

Karakılıç continues to find his inspiration for his new adventures in the junkyards he frequents. This is sometimes a frame that infiltrates through his retina, and sometimes a piece of junk thrown away thinking it has already completed its lifetime. However, his relationship with the coincidental is more candid and he does not hesitate to ‘invite it in’.

Through such a clear mind perception, the air conditioning radiators, the fundamental material of his new works, appear at Karakılıç’s present era.


We stand before an exhibition that winks at the icon of the mother goddess cult of Anatolia, the story of Göbeklitepe covered with secrets and magnificence. The artist does not even for an instant deny the own language, story of the material in the details, waiting to be noticed in his new works with different forms. On the contrary, he unites this language with his own, strengthening his style and expression and does not hesitate to share this with his audience. The artist, without excluding the state of mind of this world, with persistence, hope; processes the images, emotions all that are witnesses to these and the whispers around those images, to the junk air conditioning radiators. He curls, bends, twists the thin as wafer plates, calculating the touch of light. He re-describes life with these bends. He contributes to the plurality of meaning in the world with the most personal, most intimate, most self-sacrificing touches. There is an artisan side to these works, together with the masterful understanding of design and knowledge of light. The artist knows his material and ‘listens’ to it. He examines the daily life around him closely, and then he uses what he sees as a material for allegory and mythos. The extraordinary material he has chosen does not only contribute to the artist’s language with its form, its real function silently sneaks into the language of art, form and essence.

The different emotions of the portraits the artist portrays and the indescribable energy in them, ‘cools off’ going through the channels. The shapes that witness to his present period are prisoners behind iron bars at a glance, and at another glance, stands up next to the viewer, having left the bars behind. Etymologically, ‘portrait’ means to ‘re-produce’. In the artist’s words “a vast surface where the past, life experience and memories are gathered”. Looking from here, the soul-mapped works of Karakılıç is where it should, when it should be, exactly as it should be.


These questions await the viewer:

Which portrait are you hidden in, prisoner in which whisper? Alternatively, did you start to track the signs of the future, having sent everything you know to the infinite cycle of the spiral?

The products of this ‘young’ mind are extraordinary, exciting.

Elaborative Aesthetics Of Experimental Production
Kaya Özsezgin - 23 April 2009


Experimentalism which was always hidden in the essence of art and accompanied the change special to the expression does not only point out to the innovation in materials and technological level, but also creates efficient opportunities for radical transformations beyond innovation. In such situations, the material’s nature and methodological research that will provide functionality to the material in the artistic meaning must be well determined. It was a sort of privilege to have “praxis” in the eyes of masters who made the development of hand craftsmanship of all kinds a sine qua non rule of the art in the past periods. Accumulations of experience (“expérience”) were providing unique acquisitions for the artist to reach that stage and opening up the doors to the transformative factors. Such acquisitions which are equivalent to the artistic alchemy could open up new horizons for the artist in his search of secrets and was equipping him with facilities to make expansions by carrying him to the borders of the unknown.


Experimentalism is almost equivalent to leadership, because it requires being prone to the experimental research in the foundation of becoming an avant-garde. There are reasons especially for the young generation to be closely interested in such research activities that are also possible to define as being open to science and technology. The exhibition that opened in London towards the end of 1980s under this title was an indication of being adopted by generations beyond being only a “vogue” expression of experimentalism.


Ali Raþit Karakýlýç is taking place among other artists selecting the experimental art mission as their target due to his education of Applied Arts in 1970s. First examples of the said experimental studies have appeared in the form of designing a picture within cut frames. After then, the works he has produced especially in 1990s and the following these years continued as a series of works symbolizing his feeling of not being contented with only paints and the canvas painting tradition special to him. In these studies, Karakýlýç has started off the residues of nature which are not touched or taken apart from their real structures as they have been touched by the human being, gone after the creation of new visual “order” effects from complexities and irregularities and produced interesting texture effect combinations in this context. These are actually visual paradigms comprised of digital parts brought together side by side or one on top of another. But the effort to create a “combination” for breaking the arbitrariness at the same time adds very different and specific characteristics to these works and introduces combinations of order derived from the “complexity” for us.


The fact that technological values he is using are resulting entirely from his own artistic experiences turns the original selections in creating pictorial forms made by Ali Raþit Karakýlýç between natural data and artificial ones into a kind of practical process. His works made from time to time by overlapping image layers while evaluating two different works (pictures/photographs) together, applying interventions on a printed photograph through acrylic painting (using photo painters) or other actions by digital printing on canvas and applying acrylic interventions again afterwards, pressing and retouching actions on the material or the works he generates on plywood boards by combining two pictures  on the basis of their patterns at other times are the outcomes of his efforts to produce one thing from others and his understanding of transforming things to some others. The reason why all of these look like natural, ordinary, unforced or spontaneous works is the spontaneous relation they are able to establish with the nature and natural life. Above all, it is the motivation on not staying outside the occurrences in the environment as well as the changes and differentiations that may happen thereof making them so natural. Since Karakýlýç has adopted the policy of not being inconsiderate to the change and formation he has witnessed in his environment as the fundamental principle in his artistic understanding, his works show an uninterrupted continuation from the past until today. An artist cannot be a mere spectator while construction and destruction activities as well as the decomposition, deterioration, change and reformation occurrences surrounding us from all sides as sound and observable environmental facts. Karakýlýç starts from this level of awareness and reflects the points of his destination in his paintings in the form of waves coming from the deep. Looking at the surface from the depths, these waves turn to organic motifs in the body of his art as concrete pictorial data. Data and the main motif are getting connected to each other, creating an ordinary action-reaction relation in the body of his painting.


Taking all these details into consideration, it will not be a mistake to see a relation between this experimental working method of Ali Raþit Karakýlýç and the method we have seen at alchemists tracing the “fifth element” in daily life as his pictures incorporate values with well arranged doses of friendliness, well determined objectives confirming each other. This method that may be called as the alchemy of art shows a great care in making discrimination between the things covered and the ones to be excluded and emphasizing the details that may be influential in adding a form to the content involved. Each of the motifs gaining a relative importance as it approaches the surface from the depths of pictorial details and reaching a level of visibility is actually an indicator of life for Karakýlýç. These indicators internalize the objects they show and present us another chaotic picture of universe.


He may move away from this elaborative aesthetics from time to time in some of his recent period artworks and approach simple colors and forms, thus finding some new focuses of expansion on alternative values. This effort may be evaluated as the instinct of not contented with the things in hand.


The fact that he lives in Adana provides Ali Raþit Karakýlýç the privilege of adopting the effectiveness of living independently far from the noise of the city to a serious extent may become a distinctive factor for the artist in approaching the facts with a long-sighted perspective. 

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