The paintings of Gönül Albayrak (1973) are about women: they show us women in cinematic scenes in an environment of patterns and motives. The models have big, round eyes, plastic noses and seductive mouths. They are painted with depth, in contrast to their environment. The models are not static, they are having an emotion and because of that, they have a high level of suspense: something is preceded to the stopped image or something is going to happen. The women mostly wear ’50- clothes and they have haircuts with paint colours which blend in beautifully in their background.
The environment of the models is built from flat, decorative layers often with Eastern motives. Gönül Albayrak reunites several worlds and cultures in her work. The work raises questions about the ‘when’ and ‘why’. About roles and relations.
Influenced by the work of Philip Akkerman, Tamara de Lempicka and John Currin, Gönül has developed an imagery language which convinces and which is tough, purposeful and inherent.
I think the art world is short of artists with a non-western background, who are able to reunite the Western and Eastern world. To make clear that cultures can exist equally next to and together with each other and that the time of the Western hegemony is over.
Text: Katinka Lampe