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.
In other works Gulec further flexes his creative muscles to a remarkable degree. From psychedelic llamas to propositional, interrogative tigers, Gulec's animal menagerie weaves a trippy trajectory from constructivist poster-art to high-impact concert lithographs. Scanning through the artist’s stunning body of work, it is easy to recognize a distinct visual style emerging that has the power to fascinate its audience, deconstruct its subject, and reevaluate its form. Framed by stark objects, the foreground borrows the foliage of the background, and a rich, relational art is brokered with the viewer through Gulec's truly idiosyncratic style. From gramophones to a sullen humpty-dumpty, iCanvas is proud to present something quite special from the Istanbul’s artist heartlands.