For Erkut Terliksiz, the past two years were marked with middle-aged man’s concerns emphasized with the experience of life in the age of the global pandemic. This prompted him to contemplate the mortality and fragileness of our existence as he approached the new body of paintings that he is currently developing. But instead of allowing his work to sink into the alluring gloom of correlative emotions, the artist switched things around. In an effort to seize people’s attention, trigger emotions, and make them smile, he reached for the brightest shades of colors from his surroundings, borrowed the language and the aesthetics of vintage cartoons, and employed the Cubists’ multitude of viewpoints. Keeping the ambiguity of the dispirited state and allowing for a full range of influences to surface in the work, he filled up the visuals with playful, in-joke hints and coded messages for his son. And this positivity towards the new and the unknown obscured the underlying difficult sentiments, passing them into the hands and heads of naive-looking creatures and characters.
Besides the graphic design background, Erkut Terliksiz’s catalysts include video games and digital culture cross-sections, Robert Crumb’s comics, old Disney or Max Fleischer cartoon scene drawings, as well as oeuvres and concepts developed by the likes of Picasso, Guston, or Condo. Such a varied range of influences reveals itself in the ways the scenes and perspectives are laid out, in the light setting swathing the scenery, or the ways that characters’ faces are disrupted with a Cubist-like precision and attitude. And it wasn’t a coincidence that such a blend of elements happened in the studio located on the historical bridge between Europe and Asia. Stimulated by the eclectic mix of cultural identities and socio-economic extremes, the Istanbul-based artist allowed for the liveliness of his creativity to flow, shapeshift, and expand, “paintgenireeing” his implausible yet captivating world along the way.
Erkut Terliksiz graduated from the Department of Graphic Design in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Mimar Sinan University in 2002, and after working for many years as a designer in various companies and freelance he has focusing on his painting practice since 2010. He lives and works in Istanbul.