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Gürkan Coşkun KOMET - Director of Nightmares

Category: Portrait 29. September 2010

In his dream scenarios, Gürkan Coşkun aka Komet has the role of the stage director.

Who are these strange creatures inhabiting that world, these chimeras standing around in this weird manner? They appear to be characters out of a dream, their expression seems to hold the key to some secret, and some truth strives to reveal itself.

His expressive forms tug at the eyes, even though they do not manifestly intend to, with their sober colors and sketchy outlines they stubbornly calls themselves to mind again and again.

Komet’s work seems to be swollen with meaning and yet inscrutable and apparently much too personal to lend themselves to interpretation, his characters too complex, his allegories too mysterious. Thence they are unsettling like a dream of which one tries to make sense during the day after. The puzzling world of the unconscious looms large; although the tendency is realistic a mood of significance and psychological atmosphere prevails in the images.

The works display such a sense of surface, composition, colors that the integrity of the thoughts and feelings behind them can be felt without doubt and not challenged. All his creations are full of symbols which are evidently in a carefully balanced relationship with each other, as if they were parts of a sentence. If the unconscious is really constituted like a language, Komet masters its grammar.

Rather than declaring or making statements, he suggests; as he indulges in this coded vein, he pulls the viewer and his regard into a world of hints and challenges him to decode the incomprehensible.

There is directness in his imagery suggesting the allegory to be somehow obvious in any case, demanding the viewer to participate and to comprehend the narrative – yet like in the dream the meaning is persistently withheld, defying interpretation at every new effort.

The peculiar and unmistakably personal use of color is also part of the impression. Komet prefers grey, black, dark colors and fantastic atmospheres. Other colors only serve to intensify the feeling of loss, of the uncanny and the painful. At first the levitating acrobatics come to the fore which the artist has in mind when he casts the characters of his paintings. The wearisome and painful vision of his figures characterizes Komet’s portrayal; they seem to be acting lethargically, matching the apparently polluted air in which they exist. They stay rigid; the scenes content themselves with the narrow repertoire of string puppets. The background seems to be distorted in the eerie pictures, and the characters do not normally sit, stand or walk, they float, like in baroque painting. Also the influence of Pompeiian art is noticeable in his choice of subjects, his design of figures and composition. He has studied it thoroughly.

Komet does not make sketches; he tentatively feels his way forward into the picture and synthesizes his ideas as he paints, on site. He refers to dreams and to an obviously formidable visual memory, providing him with new combinations time and again.

He strategically avails himself of his own foreignness as source of energy and thus generates images that elude any causal nexus; eventually the mental interconnections are put in order and the characters fit into the composition, but not until they are actually on the canvas. Leaps of proportion are generated, which conflate near and far without consideration of the relation between foreground and background.

Komet does not at all engage in the opposition between abstract and figurative painting. His work unites both qualities in one style; at the end his works are abstract, on the basis of the figurative. His picture is to tell us something, wants to tell us something – and still makes its statement in silence. It is a language that initially seems to be simple and yet makes its impact through its mysteriousness. (ca)

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