Mustafa Okan

Mustafa was born in 1963 in Ankara. (Died in 2016 in Adana)

The transformation from Tanzimat Reforms to National Democratic
Revolution, that we have experienced in this geography, has always
been a form of power dictated from above to the people. We have just
reached to a point of discussion whether it was a people’s revolution or
the people of revolution. In our land since now, provisional solutions
have been raised through centralized and totalitarian methods and
persistence. Pluralist approaches and methods that could resolve the
labour processes and geographical injustice have been long neglected.
Hence, because of this neglecting attitude, art will continue to deconstruct
the status quo.

In terms of art history, Mustafa Okan has a neo-expressionist style
and he is indirectly exposing political history of Turkish Republic in
his painting series entitled “Fire Stories”. The particular paintings
"Ordeal", "A Desert Fire", "Fall-proof, rise-proof, fire-proof" and "July
Fire" are implicating his purpose.

Islamist have burned down Madımak Hotel, during Pir Sultan Abdal
Festivities at 2nd July 1993 and 33 poets and intellectuals and 2
hotel personnel lost their lives burned or drowned of smoke. Okan, by
referring to this tragic fire with his painting “July Fire”, also indicates
the recent impact of this event through the release of the criminals
and provokes the idea that Pir Sultan Abdal is eternal.

The dark patches in "Ordeal", "A Desert Fire" and "Fall-proof, riseproof,
fire-proof" are reminiscent of imperishable stains of human
crime. With these paintings Okan conveys his opinion that each
massacre is not full stop but a comma, that the fire of radicalism as
well as xenophobia to the other and to the marginal groups cannot be
abolished easily. These works implicate that those days were the days
of darkness for Turkey.