Artist, illustrator and graphic designer Burak Şentürk makes work that is conversely sweetly fantastic, and alluringly disturbing in the tradition of political cartoons, and the humorously outrageous style of R. Crumb. Burak works and lives in his birthplace Istanbul, Turkey.
Burak studied Graphic Arts at Marmara University and early work included drawing and writing caricatures for the famous political cartoonist Oğuz Aral’s magazines. Informed by the pace and unyielding nature of Istanbul, Burak’s work is heavily based in his drawing process, and reflects a keen sense of humor, and interest in hybrid creatures, the animal world and fantasy.
Burak has been featured at Milk Gallery in solo exhibitions as well as at the Contemporary Istanbul International Art Fair. Today, in addition to independent and commissioned work, Burak is part of the artist collective Krüw. The group recently premiered their work in a screen print show about the 1990s, and they will showcase a second show this June. Burak explains that collective wishes to facilitate accessibility, there are no curators, galleries, or commission fees. The artists intend to make editioned art prints affordable and reachable. Such commitments are part of Burak’s understanding of his responsibility as an artist who belongs to a community. He describes the project as a place in which “the street meets art.”
This connection to his birth city is important. For Burak, Istanbul’s history, vitality, diversity and conversely the challenges of urban living all come together to inform his practice. The unique geographical location of Turkey means it has a rich and complex history of artistic production.
As the artist notes the contemporary city has a uniquely vibrant character and way of moving:
“–the streets make you just think about making and creating. It could be art, music or even, food. There isn’t a second to stop because Istanbul is constantly flowing like a river and you have to join in…”
Can you tell me more about the use of fantasy, animal figures, and science fiction? There is also a certain sense of play and humor.
Yes, humor informs my outlook on life, and much of the imagery emerges as I work.
Please tell me what drove you to become an artist?
I do not know exactly, however, even as a very young child I began drawing, and to this day constantly feel the urge to continue.
If you were to describe your style, what would you say?
My style reflects a sense of crowded space, sadness, but also humor and hope. I see myself as using my experience and viewpoint to deliver epistles of mail to my viewers. This is my reason for existing.
And to learn more about the Istanbul artist collective Krüw ………..