Turkey, Culture

Painting on carpet beguiles visitors with 'charisma' in Contemporary Istanbul

Dutch artist Christiaan Lieverse's artwork on display at Turkey's leading art fair in Istanbul until Sunday

Iclal Turan   | 09.10.2021
Painting on carpet beguiles visitors with 'charisma' in Contemporary Istanbul Artworks on display at the 16th Contemporary Istanbul art fair, one of the leading annual artistic events in Turkey, on October 08, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey. Dutch artist Christiaan Lieverse's artwork on display at the art fair in Istanbul until Sunday. ( Salih Seref - Anadolu Agency )

ISTANBUL

Art enthusiasts of Contemporary Istanbul are crowding around “Agua Verde” to take a picture of the oil painting of a woman on a carpet which “touches on the culture here”.

“Agua Verde” is an artwork by Dutch artist Christiaan Lieverse which has been featuring at the Villa del Arte galleries in the 16th Contemporary Istanbul art fair, one of the leading annual artistic events in Turkey, since Thursday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Bert van Zetten, one of the founders of Villa del Arte, said that the carpet has drawn many visitors for various reasons, with its “touching on the culture here” among one of them.

“But it’s also the symmetry and the quality of the work that is very mesmerizing,” he said. “People perceive beauty in symmetry a lot”.

Describing the artwork, van Zetten mentioned: “A proud woman who looks into the world without fear and has a lot of charisma.”

“It’s a piece that really fits the fair. It’s about mixture of cultures. It’s about Istanbul.”

He said that the artist did not paint the carpet with Istanbul in mind, “but he did paint for this exhibition. So it premiers here.”

The artwork is worth 125,000€ ($144,600).

Contemporary Istanbul one of our favorites

Van Zetten said that Villa del Arte galleries have attended 200 art fairs around the world since it was founded in 1999, including galleries in Barcelona and Amsterdam.

Attending Contemporary Istanbul for the 10th time, he said: “This is one of our favorite fairs.”

Also praising the new location, Tersane Istanbul, he called it “a huge improvement” for the events which “has a lot more potential also for outside installations.”

Gathering the world’s leading galleries, artists and art professionals in Turkey’s cultural hub, the Contemporary Istanbul this year has a new location overlooking the Golden Horn after a major regeneration project, known as Tersane Istanbul, where the event kicked off on Thursday and is set to end on Sunday.

Tersane Istanbul, an icon of Istanbul’s coastline, is known as one of the oldest shipyards in the world with over 500 years of history.

The art fair hosts 58 galleries and cultural institutions, 436 artists, and 1,240 artworks, along with collectors, press, and art lovers, in an area of 9,500 square meters (over 102,000 square feet) inside the Halic Shipyards building – formerly inaccessible to the public – with an additional 10,000 square meters (107,600 sq feet) of outdoor space on the waterfront.

This year’s participants are contemporary art galleries from Turkey and many other countries, such as Istanbul- and Dusseldorf-based Anna Laudel, Pi Artworks from Istanbul and London, AB Gallery of Seoul, Berman Gallery from Johannesburg, Claudia Schmidt in Zurich, and Mohsen Gallery based in Tehran.

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