Murat Akagündüz

Murat Akagündüz was born in 1970 in Gölcük. Lives and works in İstanbul.

Almost monochrom, grey-blue tinted, oil on canvas painting of Murat
Akagündüz displays three figures, two on the front, the third slightly
visible behind, with tools for diving. They are being watched from a
porthole. Porthole is where the sea is observed from; therefore there
is a fourth person who observes this group. Looking to the painting
we are also observing this scene. What are we observing? An ordinary
diving session? If this is an ordinary diving, we can consider that
this painting is a realist and representative one, however there are
aspects which converts our estimation to meanings behind realizm.
Besides the monochrom character and blurred transitions from light
and shadow, the observing gaze of the figures and the alianation and
estrangement in this gaze imposes the painting an uncanny meaning.
We are passively observing the unknown fate of these three figures, as
we are observing all the present disasters happening in the world.
The references to art historical paintings in Akagündüz’s work
is always remarkable. Paintings with three figures is one of the
fundamental compostions existing since the paintings on Greek
ceramic vases up to 20th century. In common connotation three
refers to religious, spiritual and symbolic meanings. If we reckon that
these three figures preparing to dive are on the edge between life and
death and departing to a voyage of no return, we can associate this
painting to Vincent van Gogh’s, Three Figures Near A Canal With
Windmill (1883) and Picasso’s Blue-period Tragedy (1903), which
reflect disaster, sadness and misfortune. Akagündüz, always examines
today’s realities by employing techniques, forms and contents of
traditional paintings.
(Beral Madra, September 2012)