For Online Exhibition : www.artkolik.net
Episode 1 / Bölüm 1 is a selection of twenty oil paintings Aysegul Barbaros produced between
2018 and 2020. As the first episode of Barbaros' artistic practice, the exhibition revolves around
reinterpreting the body image of the antiquity, this time without the presence of the male gaze. Although this reinterpretation is usually done over the female body, it brings both female and male bodies of the antiquity to the centre of the contemporary art in a modern figurative style, supported with vibrant colour blocking. Episode 1 / Bölüm 1, which Barbaros created with drawing inspiration from the sculptures of the antiquity and today's digital ecosystem, also has a strain of questioning the society's gaze on women. This questioning is done mainly over two concepts. Strength is the first and the most inspirational concept for the artist. The image of the "strong woman" which is deeply rooted in today's society, is examined and reconstructed by Barbaros in this exhibition. This reconstruction revolves around the argument that characteristics such as naiveness, fragility, need for protection and melancholy can also be harboured under the umbrella of the "strong woman". Another concept which the artist uses
to question the society's gaze on women is the body. The naked or half naked bodies in Barbaros'canvases are so far from objectification or eroticisation, and instead represent the natural states of womanhood. In this way, the artist also steps away from the society's perception of the "nude" and therefore shatters the eroticised male gaze directed at the naked female body. The women in Barbaros' art regard the viewer not with the "strong" image they have in the outside world, but with the fragile spirit of their inner world.