Ipek Ergen airbrushes the human figure to life, bringing stories full of vivid concepts and symbolism to explore the narrative of life. It is easy to daydream your way into her world, the images are bold and neon, capturing fantasy and inspirations “ranging from the animal world to human psychology, to pop surrealism, street art, contemporary japanese art, superflat, anime manga and otaku culture…”
Animals and masks feature prominently in her work. They add a mystery to her pieces that she explores using an extensive variety of mediums. Along with airbrushing, Ipek uses acrylics, neon colors, inks and colored pencils, gold leaf and plexiglass. This use of mixed media creates a depth to her work that is truly unique and visually exciting.
This February, Ipek will be exhibiting a number of new pieces for her solo show ‘Maskerade/ Masquerade”. For all those lucky enough to be close by in Germany, this is not to be missed. An opportunity to see Ipek’s pieces in all their vibrancy and striking boldness.
This is going to be an incredible show! Head to Art42 Kunsthandel this February in person or to their website to view the works online.
25 February – 25 March 2018
Art 42 Art Trade
Main street 116
76870 Kandel, Germany
About the Artist:
Born in Istanbul, in 1984. Studied painting at university (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University) and has a masters degree on art and design (Yildiz Technical University).Won the “Young Painter of the Year” award in 2009. She had 4 solo shows in national galleries and participated in many group shows, art fairs and juried exhibitions in United States of America, Germany, Luxembourg and Turkey. Working primarily with airbrush paint, acrylic, inks and colored pencils, she also loves to play with different medias such as gold leaf, gold dust, resin and plexiglass.Her inspiration ranges from animal world to human psychology, to pop surrealism, street art, contemporary japanese art, superflat, anime manga and otaku culture…Her main focus is human figure and she uses animal symbolism to explore human behaviours. Her subject matter deals with daydreams and wonderland-like stories. Rabbit is a commonly used symbol in her paintings. Symbolically, rabbit represents luck and intuition, finding the way in the dark and unknown, being comfortable traveling in unfamiliar territory. In “Alice in Wonderland” Alice follows the white rabbit in the beginning of her journey without questioning why and where this can lead her. This spontaneous act of curiosity and the drive for discovery shapes the rest of the story. Inspired by this, as many of her latest paintings which share the same theme, the work titled “Lucky” questions concepts such as; destiny, luck, coincidence, inner voice, decision making, letting oneself go, tracing one’s way, jumping blind to adventures or staying calm and safe in comfort zone, listening to inner critique or silencing it, being careless or over thinking, spontaneous moves that turn into life changing decisions, following dreams. In one of her latest works called “Sophia and Mike”, an acrylic painting on canvas, the rabbit symbol again greets us in the form of a pet, a show rabbit called Mike. Mike accompanies the burlesque performer called Sophia in her stage. The names of the characters seen in her work are not randomly chosen or coincidences for sure. The world of another stage dancer is visited in the painting titled “The Ace of Hearts”. The heroine of this painting, Ivy, is a dancer of a burlesque cabaret. Every night before the show she spends some time staring at the mirror, facing herself, leaving the truth and her personality behind, putting her costume, make up and a big fake smile on to become the “Lady with Bunny” for a few hours. In this painting the audience is invited to the backstage of the cabaret, to Ivy’s room. The lady on the right is Ivy, wearing a flamingo and lively roses as a hat and petting her rabbit friend. She is in a state of daydream with an empty stare in her eyes. Her reflection on the left is what she sees when she looks at the mirror: a lady wearing a hat made of an origami bird and plastic flowers, holding a stuffed toy bunny which is chained to her wrist. Only the chain is real, the rest is just pale, fake and plastic. There’s a letter on the floor and an envelope with a playing card on the inside: the ace of hearts. This element gives the painting a dramatic atmosphere: what was on the letter? Good or bad news? Words of an old friend, an admirer or a family member?
Ipek Ergen loves to turn her works into a treasure hunting game for the audience, since they are full of symbols to discover and hidden layers that can only be seen under a black light. So she exhibits her work accompanied with black light torches, to let the audience make their own discoveries on hidden layers of neon paint. Her work titled “Miss Blossom” is one of those paintings full of meaningful details; animals, crystals, mushrooms and masks, they all take us into a daydream. As a contrast to the ethereal atmosphere that thin layers of transparent paint creates, sharp areas covered with gold leaf are a reminder of the material world. The painting titled “Aysegul” (which is the name of her model for this painting) is another mixed media piece on wood. Here we have the leader of a ‘girl gang’ posing with her pet deer, Bambi. She is wearing a bunny mask, which is the sign that she is the leader and the other girls will follow her blind through many surreal adventures.
The influence of “Alice in Wonderland” is strongly felt is this work too, as the leader with the rabbit mask expect the other girls to follow her into ‘the rabbit hole’. As a concept started with a serie of small drawings titled “Jungle Rules in Human Relationships” the animals used in works in form of pets, masks and toys, are all representations of different human behaviours. The artist aims to question the way a person introduces their own world to someone else and while thinking about the dynamics which shape the human relationships, ‘instincts’ become the main focus. “Which parts of human relationships are instinctive and are they generally shaped around some rules similar to the law of the jungle?”. This question points to terms such as; hunting, survival, domination, escape, chase, the food chain, being part of a crowd… Are we involved in a game seeking a sense of belonging or a meaning? Are we always presenting ourselves in a role, under a costume or behind a mask? Do we instinctively follow the rules; as we chase, hunt, mark our territory and stay in a crowd to survive?