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The Art of Ali Gulec

Istanbul-based Ali Gulec is a graphic artist with a difference. His surreal illustrations are like identikit drawings aiming to prosecute the material arts. Working on the margins of what is possible with his medium, Gulec's forms, figures, and situations are remarkable for their clarity and strength of purpose, and maintain an iconographic intensity that would make any rock band bereft of an album cover salivate with admiration. His skulls are kaleidoscopic montages of the cycles of life and death replete with the same sense of wealth, filigree, and depth that characterizes Damien Hurst's $100 million dollar diamond-encrusted skull titled ‘For the love of god’. What is remarkable about Gulec's cranial explorations is the manner with which the artist subsumes the skull within the enveloping design schema of each print, as if the fatalism inherent in the subject has been camouflaged by a shuddering celebration of visual pleasure.