Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as Istanbul

Master of abstract painting: Meet Ahmet Özel

As an artist who has reflected the individual human journey on his canvases in an abstract style for many years, Ahmet Özel scrutinizes his own,The city was alive like a busy market in those times, and many American cars road the streets.
Back then, a high school teenager was getting out of Kabataş High School, where he was educated and walking to the coastal town of Fındıklı where his greatest delight was catching fish. However, he did not know that he was catching fish in the garden of the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts, now known as the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.One day, he left the garden and stepped inside the huge building behind him. Once he entered, he was mesmerized by an exhibition on display.
He could not understand for a few minutes why these works of art were here, but then learned that it was the famous Turkish art academy.That high school boy was gifted artist Ahmet Özel, and this was his first meeting with the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts, founded by renowned Turkish painting artist Osman Hamdi Bey as the first fine arts educational institution in Turkey.Özel does not come from an artistic family. He was the son of a migrant family that tried to sustain their lives under difficult conditions.
But there was one sure thing: He had a talent for painting. Everyone thought him talented but no one directed him to a career in this field.It was his first meeting with the academy that motivated and encouraged him. Thereafter, Özel decided to receive an education in its magical atmosphere.He was not well prepared but took the entrance exams. As you can imagine, he succeeded and entered the world of painting.Even if his first brush stroke on canvas was a chance, he took firm steps toward painting and became one of the most productive Turkish artists. I interviewed him concerning his latest exhibition “İç Güneş” (“Inner Sun”), which opened March 16 at Gallery Diani and on display until April 6, I found myself in an intense conversation in a minute.I was looking at a wise man with a cultural and informational accumulation of years. The more he talked, the more I became curious about his art and his perspective.
I learned the aforementioned details about his finding art and then wanted to hear about his style and themes. Before coming to the interview, I saw on the Internet that art critic Ruşen Eşref Yılmaz praised Özel’s works.He said, “The painting of Ahmet Özel is a whole of polysemic phenomenon that implies the existence of human beings as part of the cosmic universe.” While Özel was talking about his themes, his words reminded me of Yılmaz’s comment.Özel was really into the individual journey of humans. He said that he focused on figures in his paintings until the ’90s.Then, he inclined to the theme of the sky. Özel evaluates this inclination as a concept that developed in him to understand the universe and creation.
The artist, then, started to reflect meteors on his canvas. These meteors turned into angels and mother figures and finally light.
However, Özel highlights that he always scrutinized the creation of the universe and human beings with an intuition-based dialect and reflected it isolated from time and space in a mythological dimension with mystical arrangements.Daily Sabah’s Irem Yaşar (R) with Ahmet Özel at Gallery Diani.Noting that he always begins to paint without any preparation, Özel sees his works as a mirror to himself. He stressed that the only thing that he tries to do in his job is to reflect what he has inside.
Performing his talent extemporaneously, he said: “I do not like to transfer something that has been completed in my mind. I like the improvisational process of painting.I do not want to destroy the excitement that it gives me.”Admiration for BruegelAs I saw his attachment to his art with such a deep desire while he was talking, my interest in learning about his ideas and feelings about famous artists increased.I could not wait and asked about figures that he admired. After this question, his eyes sparkled.The artist waited for a second and said that he is really moved especially by one artist’s work although there are many others that he admires. This work was the Dutch Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel’s “The Blind Leading the Blind” (aka “The Parable of the Blind”).
He said that he made a copy of this work during his academy years, and this painting became his source of inspiration as of that day. “Even if people do not know that, this painting stays as a frame in all of my productions,” he emphasized.
At that very moment, Gallery Diani’s founder Telga Südor Mendi interrupted the conversation with similar excitement. She said that she attended the comprehensive exhibition that the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna has organized to mark the 450th anniversary of the death of Pieter Bruegel.Common interests Özel is an artist who sees himself as a part of society. For him, artists should not be considered leaders or pioneers.Therefore, I can assure you that you will witness the modesty of the artist at “İç Güneş” as well as the perfect brush strokes and the deep meanings behind the paintings, where you will accompany his own life epiphany through the abstract elements on display.

Please follow and like us:

Saudi crown prince meets Chinese president, bags oil deal

BEIJING (AFP) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday and bagged a $10-billion oil deal, pressing on with his diplomatic charm offensive in Asia following a global outcry over the Khashoggi killing.
Mohammed arrived in Beijing on Thursday following visits to Pakistan and India, showing the world that his country still has allies after the grisly murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.
China is a good friend and partner to Saudi Arabia, Xi told Mohammed in a meeting in the Great Hall of the People.Saudi Arabia’s relations with China can be traced back a very long time in the past, the crown prince said.
Over such a long period of exchanges with China, we have never experienced any problems with China.He met with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng earlier on Friday.Is the crown prince’s tour symbolic of Saudi Arabia’s pivot to the East? Yes, Najah al-Otaibi, a senior analyst at the pro-Saudi think-tank Arabia Foundation, told AFP.Riyadh wants to strengthen alliances in Asia — especially now with the continuing fallout with the United States over Khashoggi’s murder and other issues, and attempts by the EU to put Riyadh on a blacklist over money laundering allegations.
Khashoggi, a fierce critic of the prince, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, a murder that tarnished the image of the kingdom and of the crown prince in particular.Riyadh initially denied the murder, then gave several conflicting accounts of Khashoggi’s death, and now claims he was killed in an unauthorised operation that did not involve Mohammed.
The murder sparked global indignation, with US lawmakers pushing for Washington to distance itself from the crown prince, but the White House has maintained close relations with Riyadh, a major ally in the Middle East.Separately, the European Commission wants to add Saudi Arabia to a money-laundering blacklist of governments that do too little to thwart the financing of terrorism and organised crime.
But China is looking to strengthen its economic ties with the kingdom, as Beijing pursues its ambitious Belt and Road trade infrastructure initiative, while Riyadh rolls out Saudi Vision 2030 — the crown prince’s major programme to diversify the national economy away from oil.Mohammed told the Chinese President they could join the two projects to realise more progress and jointly confront challenges.
Vice Premier Han suggested during his meeting with the crown prince that the two countries deepen partnerships in energy, infrastructure construction, finance, and high-tech.Trade and securityRiyadh’s national oil giant Saudi Aramco said it had signed an agreement to form a Saudi-Chinese joint venture — worth more than $10 billion — to develop a refining and petrochemical complex in northeastern Liaoning province.
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority also announced the signing of 35 non-binding memorandums of understanding, including deals related to energy, mining, transportation and e-commerce.China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner.
As the kingdom diversifies its non-oil economy, it needs a variety of other investors with technical expertise, including the Chinese, Otaibi said.China steadfastly supports Saudi Arabia pushing a diversification of its economy and societal reforms, Xi told Mohammed, according to state broadcaster CCTV, adding he supported the hard work the kingdom has undertaken to promote stability and safety at home.National security is a potential area of cooperation between the Gulf state and China.The two countries should boost partnerships in counterterrorism and law enforcement, and exchange experience on combating extremism, Han said in his meeting with Mohammed, according to a report by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The Saudis said they firmly supported Beijing’s efforts to keep the country secure, and opposed interference by external forces in China’s internal affairs, Xinhua added, paraphrasing remarks by the crown prince.Riyadh has remained silent over China’s treatment of Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the far-western region of Xinjiang.Up to one million Uighurs and other minorities are being held in internment camps in Xinjiang as part of a draconian anti-terror and anti-separatist campaign, according to estimates cited by a UN panel.China has the right to take anti-terrorism and de-extremization measures to safeguard national security, Mohammed told Xi, according to CCTV.

Please follow and like us:

Forbes Travel Guide Reveals Its 2019 Star Award Winners

Forbes Travel Guide’s inspectors scoured the globe to discover the world’s best hotels, restaurants and spas for our 2019 Star Award winners.

Credit: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi AnForbes Travel Guide’s inspectors scoured the globe to discover the world’s best hotels, restaurants and spas for our 2019 Star Award winners.For the 61st annual list, we expanded to new destinations, including Anguilla, Bahrain, Belize, Danang, Doha, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Istanbul, Oman, Perth, the Swiss Alps, Tel Aviv and Uruguay. The result is our biggest and most diverse group of honorees yet.To find the top luxury experiences, our inspectors checked into a hotel for a minimum of two nights and posed as ordinary guests. Once there, they tested up to 900 objective, exacting standards that covered everything from whether a staff member greets you curbside within 30 seconds of pulling up in a car to whether housekeeping arranges toiletries on top of high-quality underliners on the counter.
The ratings emphasize graciousness, thoughtfulness and personalized service: 75 percent of a hotel’s score is based on its level of service, while 25 percent is determined by the quality of its facilities (for more on how a hotel earns a rating, click here).See the full list of Star-Rated properties here.
Below are some highlights from this year’s esteemed winners:Fairmont Pacific Rim. Credit: FRHI Hotels ResortsHotelsThe Peninsula Hotels emerged as the biggest winner it’s the first all Five-Star hotel company in Forbes Travel Guide history.The Peninsula Manila earned its inaugural Five-Star award, giving the Hong Kong-based brand a total of 10 top-rated hotels.Another brand with a stellar year was Bulgari Hotels Resorts, which claimed a trifecta of Five-Star honors for Bulgari Hotel Beijing; Bulgari Hotel Residences, London; and Bulgari Resort Bali.
This marks the first Five-Star wins for the company synonymous with the luxurious Roman jeweler.Elsewhere around the globe, countries seized their first Five-Star hotel distinction.
Among them were Malaysia’s Crockfords at Resorts World Genting, a secret spot whose luxurious rooms are mostly reserved for high rollers at the nearby casino; Portugal’s Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, an icon whose outdoor rooftop track affords one of the best views of the city; South Korea’s The Shilla Seoul, a historic property outfitted with the latest technology from owner Samsung; Turkey’s Raffles Istanbul, which boasts an unbeatable location in Zorlu Center mall amid high-end shops, restaurants and an Eataly; and Vietnam’s Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An, a dreamy beach escape with three tiers of infinity pools and breezy villas.Other newcomers to the list include three hotels in the British capital: The Langham, London, whose experimental Artesian bar is a destination unto itself; Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, London, which makes a triumphant comeback after a June 2018 fire; and Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, which resides in one of the city’s most-recognized buildings, the hulking Renzo Piano-designed Shard.Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Credit: Four Seasons Hotels LimitedPlus, Five-Star awards went to Fairmont Pacific Rim, a sleek Vancouver spot offering Coal Harbour vistas and the see-and-be-seen restaurant Botanist; Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris, the 1909 grande dame that had a major facelift in 2017; and Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, where each of the bright, modern rooms comes with views of the glittering gulf.
And there are two new Five-Star standouts in the United States. On the tiny 141-square-mile Hawaiian isle of Lanai, Four Seasons Resort Lanai offers the exclusivity of a private island alongside amenities like an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course (Bill Gates got married at the stunning 12th hole overlooking crashing waves).Salamander Resort Spa, an elegant equestrian-themed countryside getaway outside of D.C.was inspired by the home of Sheila C. Johnson, founder of the Salamander Hotels Resorts group and co-founder of BET.The final tally was 21 new Five-Star, 49 new Four-Star and 62 new Recommended hotels.

Please follow and like us: