Businessman eyes supports art via his hotel and holding
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Öztanık poses in front of some of the gravures found in the rooms. Öztanık says, every room contains different artworks. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
Young businessman İsmet Ömer Öztanık not only likes art, but also wants to be part of the Istanbul’s art activities. “I am a collector, but more than this I would like to support artists and open a new dimension in terms of being an arts patron.
“I am interested in art. Before establishing Avantgarde Hotel in Istanbul, [I] founded other hotels in other parts of Turkey, and I always added some artistic aspect to those hotels,” Öztanık said, adding that he is actually an investor. The hotel, which opened in May 2010 in Istanbul’s Levent district, is home to contemporary artwork and also supports contemporary art events. “Art adds a soul to everything, and in the past I don’t think we used the power of art enough in our establishments.”
Now it is different, Öztanık said, and exhibiting contemporary art pieces at the hotel and supporting contemporary art are among his main drives, even though he comes from a very different background. “My family comes from Siirt, and we started in stockbreeding.”
The Avantgarde Hotel contains many works of contemporary art. The hotel’s rooms are decorated with paintings and engravings by young and emerging artists. “We chose the pieces together with Selin Yurtbilir. We wanted to make the hotel a little bit different from other hotels.”
Avantgarde Hotel is a business hotel, but there are good examples in the world of hotels that focus on art, Öztanık said, and he would like the Avantgarde Hotel to be among them. “We have been in the business for 22 years and we are a huge holding, but having an interest in art is something different,” he said.
“Even in designing the logo for the hotel we worked with artists,” Öztanık said. The logo of the Avantgarde Hotel is based on a sculpture. “Everything here is made with care,” he said. “I do not out anything at the hotel that I would not put in my house.” The most important thing to Öztanık is his love of artwork. “It is very important to enjoy artwork. I collect not only paintings but also installations and sculptures,” he said.
Öztanık is actively pursuing unique works of art. Murat Germne, Kezban Arca Batıbeki and Fatma Tülin Özütrk are among the artists whose work he follows. The hotel also sells it artwork to interested guests.
Photographs by Derin Özsezen are among the works available for sale at Avantgarde. “In these pieces, Özsezen used significant objects symbolizing Anatolia. We would like to reflect aspects of Anatolia in our rooms.” Each room has different artwork, Öztanık said.
Pieces of video art are displayed in the public areas of the hotel, such as the elevators. “We thought about what would best reflect Istanbul, and decided on a depiction of New York streets. The video work in the elevators was also made by Derin Özsezen, and reflects Istanbul streets but with the help of other cities.”
The street Avantgarde is located on, Büyükdere Street, is one of the busiest streets in Istanbul. Özsezen sought to reflect this in the video. He went to New York and filmed scenes on the busiest streets, which are now displayed as the elevator moves up and down.
Support for IPA
Istanbul is still behind in terms of attracting large art and cultural events to the city, Öztanık said, which is why he chose to support this year’s events form the International Performance Association.
“We aim to support those events. If we look at the local scene, there are auctions. We also host them, but another important thing is to support other events such as performance art and other visual arts events,” Öztanık said. “In the past we have also supported other events.”
For example, the Avantgarde Hotel hosted an exhibition of artwork by Emre Ertürk. The hotel will continue to support contemporary art, Öztanık said.