Young artists now have a new base

Young artists now have a new base

Young artists now have a new base

When two young curators embarked on a journey to bring young art school graduates’ works to Istanbul, they did not have a clue about the flood of art that would end up on their doorstep. But lo and behold, some 1000 artworks arrived at BASE, the youngest platform for contemporary art. 

Ali Kerem Bilge, the founding partner of BASE, and Derya Yücel, the curator of the first exhibition, are excited about the first gathering that will start on Dec. 21 at the Galata Greek School in the Karaköy neighborhood.

“We wanted this to be almost like a graduation gathering for fine arts students. We did not know it would be such a success,” Bilge told Hürriyet Daily News just before the opening of the exhibit. 

“Literally, art from all corners of Turkey poured in; from Batman [southeastern province] to Edirne [northwestern province], amazing works from sculpture to video art, from traditional to modern. Anything you can imagine,” he said. 

BASE became one of the newest art platforms for a vibrant contemporary art scene in Istanbul. Bilge and Yücel are also aiming to bring together art dealers, buyers and young and aspiring artists together. 

Deborah Harris of Armory Show, Gallery Voss Director Rudiger Voss, New York Academy of Arts’ Peter Drake, Borusan CEO Agah Uğur and Tansa Mermerci Ekşioğlu of SPOT Projects are among the big names of the selection committee. 

Some 108 artworks from 31 universities made it to the final exhibit that will take place until Dec. 24. But the event is not limited to students’ projects. There will be four full days of panel discussions and art classes. Alev Ebuzziya, Mehmet Güleryuz, Refik Anadol and Taner Ceylan will meet with young artists and modern art fans. 

“We were surprised by the versatility of the artworks that came,” said Bilge. “A young traditional handicraft student used video art, another sculpture student used photography. They are all amazing. Much to our surprise, there are common themes in almost every project. Environment, women’s rights, urbanization and loneliness appeared one work after another. We are happy to say that BASE became the platform to unite Turkey’s feelings and art.” 

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