This idealization of youth however, goes hand in hand with an overall sense of sadness and desperation felt by the artist. With the encroaching global problems facing the youth today, wars, famines, economical downturns, a hope for a better future becomes an idealization in itself. Topcuoglu, who is part of the generation who participated in the major upheavals the world faced in the 1960‘s, maintains that the sense of hope, of a view of changing the world experienced then, seems desolate and almost obsolete today.
The young female characters depicted in his works have grown up in this very context and are now facing the various adult issues of the day. Like a modern day Alice, they may be opposed and frustrated at every turn, but they are mostly dissenters not collaborationists, speaking up against the way people insist on the rightness of their conventional ways of doing things. Like in the Alice stories, these girls raise the voice of common sense against the arbitrary rules and unjust commandments of the grown-up world. It is for this reason that when looking at Topcuoglu’s seemingly ‘pretty’ images of attractive girls, the viewer nonetheless cannot help but sense a disturbing tension at what lies beneath.
Born in 1953, Nazif Topcuoglu graduated with a Masters degree from the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1981. Since then he has exhibited worldwide and has held several solo shows both in Istanbul and abroad, as well as publishing 3 books on the history and criticism of photography. Topcuoglu’s work was included in the Turkish pavillion during the 50th Venice biennale in 2003 and he has participated in various prestigious group shows including“ A Subjective Panorama of Contemporary Turkish Photography”
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Green Art Gallery was first established in 1995, and was a key player in the development of major modern Arab artists in the region. In late 2008, keeping only the name intact, Green Art Gallery went through a complete rebranding and restructuring of its identity, artist roster, and curatorial focus. In 2010 the gallery relocated to a 3000 sqft warehouse space which allowed for the innovative and ambitious projects which were to follow. Central to the curatorial program are contemporary artists of all media from the Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia, and Turkey, who rely heavily on a research-based practice. Most recently the gallery has continued to grow with the additions of internationally renowned and emerging artists including Hale Tenger, Kamrooz Aram and Shadi Habib Allah to the artist roster.