Artist Spotlight: Taner Ceylan

Ceylan's technical proficiency is so dazzling that you might miss the outspoken content of his work.

BY Christopher Harrity

May 10 2014 3:00 AM ET


Divine Ego (Golden Age Series), charcoal and 24 carat gold on paper, diptych: 101 cm x 121 cm / each (detail at bottom of page)

Ceylan will be participating in Frieze New York, May 9 - 12, at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Stand C15. Also, on May 9, at 1:30 pm there will be artist-curator talk at the Paul Kasmin Gallery stand with Dan Cameron (Chief Curator, Orange County Museum of Art).

In his new series Golden Age, the artist examines spiritual and immaterial depths. While first two drawings from the series, Persephone and Cyparissus, expose the concepts of duality and rebirth in Greek mythology.

Divine Ego presents a contemporary reinterpretation of Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights. Ceylan's background directly references Bosch's triptych, while the foreground is dominated by an angelic figure. Upon the exterior panels of Bosch's painting, the artist inscribed Psalm 33 in Latin, which translates to "for he spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast." Ceylan reworks this text, ornamenting his diptych in 24 carat gold with the words "for he spake and it was done; he commanded and it went insaine." Ceylan offers a stark contemporary contrast to Bosch by purposefully misspelling insane, using contemporary slang. Ceylan's usage of gold additionally evokes both divinity and the work of Bosch and his pre-Renassiance contemporaries.

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