ARTISTS / MEHMET KOYUNOGLU

MEHMET KOYUNOĞLU

He was born in 1956 in Istanbul as a member of a family intertwined with art. His grandfather is Arif Koyunoğlu, one of the first well-known architects of the Republican era, and the architect of the Ankara Ethnography Museum and the Painting and Sculpture Museum (Türk Ocağı Building). His interest in painting emerged in the 1960s during his early childhood years in Ankara and Aydın, where he lived for certain periods due to his father's civil service. He prepared the models of a children's play staged at the State Theater in 1974 and graduated from English High School in the same year. In 1975, he won an award in the International Graphic Competition organized by the Magic Marker pen company in London, surpassing hundreds of professional artists. He participated in the Turkish National Painting Exhibition in 1977. In 1979, he made illustrations for the Hürriyet Gösteri art and literature magazine. He graduated from Mimar Sinan University Fine Arts Faculty Graphic Arts Department in 1982. He went to Paris. Marguerite Lamy, a former curator of the Louvre Museum, and art critic Jacques Normand liked his paintings very much and persuaded him to stay in Paris. During the same period, he met the illustrator Jean Paul Chaignot and learned the Air Brush technique .In 1983, he entered the Iscan studio at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris.

During the studio period, he began to make a living by painting and selling these paintings, often in Normand's home, which was Picasso's former studio and where David Hockney often came to paint. He opened a drawing exhibition at Galerie Philippe Fregnac. Seven paintings were sold in the exhibition, which was a great success. One of the sold paintings was bought by Jacques Normand and sent to Istanbul as a gift to his aunt Özcan Gündüz, who supported Koyunoğlu in every way. Because, in this painting, the artist included people who were influential in his life and childhood, and objects that reminded them of these people. Also this drawing, apart from the one printed on the gallery invitation, it is the only original source from which information can be obtained about the style and technique of the drawings exhibited because all of the other drawings in the exhibition were sold over time, only low-quality copies of some were kept. He moved to a house in Le Bourget, outside of Paris. He made a definite return to Turkey in 1984. In 1986, he won the first prize in the illustration category of the National Graphic Arts Exhibition held in Istanbul. Shortly after completing his etching education at the Rene Carcan Etching Foundation between 1990-91, he participated in the group exhibition opened in the same foundation. In 1991, he participated in the Kanagawa Printmaking Biennial in Japan. In 1992, his etchings, consisting of the Passion of the Flower series and printed in 40 pieces in the famous Paris Leblanc studio, were exhibited by Galeri Nev in his personal exhibition in Istanbul. With the same series, he participated in exhibitions at Galerie Tete D'or in Brussels and at Gallery Artimex in Düsseldorf. He exhibited his acrylic paintings for the first time in his solo exhibition at Istanbul Galeri Nev in 1996. In the same exhibition, his carving and acrylic painting works on welding and granite stones were also included. His exhibition at Ankara Gallery Nev was opened in 1997.

In 1999, he had solo exhibitions at Istanbul Gallery G and Şanlıurfa State Fine Arts Gallery. He participated in the 15th year group exhibition at Istanbul Galeri Nev. In 2000, he opened his first drawing exhibition at Istanbul Kasa Gallery together with animator Enis Tahsin Özgür and cartoonist Kenan Yarar. His works were exhibited together with the works of Abidin Dino, Adnan Çoker, İnci Eviner and Kemal Önsoy at the Ankara Gallery Nev Group exhibition. He held exhibitions at Bodrum Hadigari Gallery Nev, Ankara Gallery Nev and Şanlıurfa Fine Arts Gallery. He made drawings and graphics for the XXI architectural culture magazine. Beginning with the sixth issue of the same magazine (January-February 2001), he prepared the illustrations and photographs of the section titled "Past, Today", in which Hasan Kuruyazıcı wrote the texts. His last exhibition in 2001 was the Tolga Eti Sanatevi group exhibition, in which Süleyman Saim Tekcan and Mevlüt Akyıldız also participated. He fell ill shortly after this exhibition and passed away in September. An exhibition was held in Ankara gallery Nev in 2011, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Mehmet Koyunoğlu's death.