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OMER KALESI / 1

Girl Shepherd (1991)

Oil on canvas

184x73 cm

For Sale

About Artist

The two works are for sale together. Together they are more meaningful. The two figures are side by side, looking at each other. Each work is 92X73 cm. If it is desired to be exhibited together, the frame of one is slightly larger than the other. However, the canvas dimensions are exactly the same size. If desired, the frame can be changed. The work is oil on canvas. The artist does not use white paint on white areas. That is the nature of the artist. More information is right below.

Ömer Kaleşi was born in 1932 in Yugoslavia. One wing is Macedonian and one wing is Albanian. He immigrated to Turkey with his family in his 20s. He studied art at IDGSA (Mimar Sinan University) Bedri Rahmi Workshop. In 1962, he went on a tour of Anatolia with his two artist friends. Later, this trip was instrumental in creating the psychological dimensions of the portrait genre in his paintings. In the same years, he traveled all over Europe and settled in Paris in 1965. He opens many exhibitions in Europe and Turkey. His works are in numerous national and international individual, corporate and museum collections.

His first paintings, reflecting an Abstract Expressive style, develop his impressions of his childhood and early youth in Yugoslavia in a way that will focus on abstract expression elements. But the period that forms his real personality is the series of portraits originating from the Anatolian reality. In these paintings, he draws a shepherd figure in an abstract time and place and deepens the inner drama of the figure through his facial features. He very clearly conveys the feelings, loneliness and struggle of the individual against life to the audience.

He states that the most important subject in his paintings is the human being, but the head, which is only a detail of the human. He says, 'I cannot deal with heads, but if there is one thing I know, it is that I will paint them for the rest of my life'. Everyone who watches the disembodied heads of Ömer Kaleşi looks and interprets them with their own cultural codes. Those disembodied, mute heads tell a lot to the beholders... You look at each other. You ask him, he makes you question yourself. I think that the head comes before the body, directs it, directs it wherever it wishes, and commands the body. When I make the head, I make the human. The body is not necessary, it decides nothing. We see everything in the 'head'; the head is enough,” says the painter.

The artist examines his work in 3 colorist periods: red, black without black and white without white. He started to use red while he was a student at GSF in Istanbul and in the press of his profession. It begins in 1993 with the theme of the Black 'Balkan Drama' and continues throughout the war in the Former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina-Kosovo).

He started using Canvas White with Dervishes and shepherds towards 1985. He uses the white of the canvas with great respect. Because it is white and clean as snow, it accepts it as it is. It does not put any stain, signature or date on it.

Ömer Kaleşi's childhood coincides with the years of World War II. In the series of paintings he made throughout his life, traces of his influence from the events in the Balkans can be seen. He remembers that the people of the village they lived in fought with the Partisans, women and children took shelter in caves and their villages were burned. You realize that the red on their paintings was left from that fire. He tells that the children who returned to their villages after the fire, encountered smoldering flames while digging through the black ashes. You notice that this image is repeated in the works. What about those piled up heads looking towards us?

The artist tells the Balkan drama (dramas/endless Balkan drama) with beginnings...

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