Berke Doğanoğlu’s paintings deliberate on the material existence and vulnerability of the human body, while keeping the figures’ anonymity through strategies of fragmentation and deconstruction. His textured, carefully and parsimoniously lit canvases operate through the physicality of painting, as metaphors for the human body and psyche, while his compositional choices set a parallel between portraiture and landscape painting. An empathetic and tactile relationship emerges from these paintings, activates the bodily unconscious and invites the viewer to identify, self-recognize and project their own narratives and associations onto them.
Berke Doğanoğlu’s paintings belong to a private world, one that is slightly removed. In most cases, the eyes are obscured, the head is removed or the figure turns its back on the viewer. In cases where the figure’s gaze is discernible, they remain introspective and mediated through an archival or photographic distance. The textured, disorderly brush marks match the animate quality of the flesh as well as its entropy, creating surfaces where the densities seem fleeting like a touch, in motion, always rearrangeable into another kind of order. The detachment thus obtained provides a fertile ground to host the viewers’ projections but also minor histories and a world of references from literature, painting and printed media relating to the human body in its materiality as well as its representational, affective and psychological layers. Deployed in shades of intimacy and conveying a generous offering of the self, Doğanoğlu’s paintings simultaneously hold a radical vulnerability and a withdrawal from meaning.
Berke Doğanoğlu (b. 1990, Tekirdağ) lives and works in Istanbul. Doğanoğlu holds a BA (2012) and a MA (2018) in Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design from Sabancı University. He completed the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio Art (Painting and Drawing) programme at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015.
His first solo exhibition “As Adam, Early In The Morning” was held at THE PILL, Istanbul in 2020. He has participated in group shows including “As If I Couldn’t. 6th Year Anniversary Show, THE PILL, (Istanbul, 2022) Mamut Art Project (Istanbul, 2016) and 135 Square Meter, 8 Persona, Sabanci University (Istanbul, 2012). In 2020 he was selected to participate at the Istanbul Biennial Work & Research Program held by Istanbul Foundation for Arts and Culture.