May 4, 2023 - Jul 8, 2023

Power Causes Monsters

Sema Maşkılı

Istanbul Concept Gallery

Tomtom Mah. Nur-u Ziya Sk. No:27/1
34433 Beyoglu, Istanbul, TR

Maşkılı uses the human form on her canvas as a vessel to question the complexity of human nature and she focuses on concepts like violence, existence and ego. She interprets the human being as “a creature trapped between its highly ethical values and its animal instincts”. The works on her upcoming exhibition “Power Causes Monsters” base upon the human tendency of excluding “the other”. With her works she goes through the inclination of humans towards mental or physical violence and she does that over reflecting the conflicts of different cultures or different identities. She also addresses social problems like a majority oppressing a minority by casting out “the other”.

USA based artist Debra Lapatina’s insightful observations on Maşkılı’s works are worth to note: “Sema Maşkılı’s art is inescapable. An artist whose work forces peak contemplation by distorting ‘old masters’ beauty. After years of dedicated study, from Theodore Gericault and Francisco Goya to Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon, Maşkılı is driving home the gruesome effects of abusive, engorged power in an unmistakable style.(…) In the current exhibition, “Power Causes Monsters”, the artist execrates the glorification of aggression in its myriad manifestations.(…) Through intense analysis, Sema Maşkılı strengthens our resolve to see how the formidable beauty of intelligent compassion is being twisted, by our very own human nature, into a power that can make monsters of us all. The act of not looking away is an overtone of Truth.”

Having worked on her series “Power Causes Monsters” since 2017, Sema Maşkılı notes that while painting the human form she focuses on the violence within and through that she builds compositions of bodies colliding each other in a bestial way, she depicts intertwined anatomical structures, crushed and deformed body parts.

After graduating from Istanbul Anatolian Fine Arts High School, Sema Maşkılı studied in the painting department of Mimar Sinan University and received her MFA from the same department. She has been taking part in numerous group exhibitions in Türkiye and abroad since 2001 and last year she has been awarded by the SCA in Canada and the Pinacothèque Museum in Luxembourg.

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Sema Maşkılı, "Barbarians", 2021, Oil on canvas, 185 x 145 cm.

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