We are all Icarus
Oil and gold leaf on canvas (1.5 x 1.0 metres) - 2018

Painting history

 

The painting was painted in the artist studio in Kensington in 2018 from the enclosed print of the pencil sketch that was the first idea of the work. It is the first of a series of paintings entitled Agnoiaphobia, the fear of ignorance. It was shown publicly for the first time at Istanbul Contemporary in September 2018. It was presented in London at the opening of a one-man show at the Anemoi Art Gallery in Mayfair in February 2019. In March 2019, it was again shown in Turkey at a one-man show organized by the City of Eskisehir. It was shown at the Saatchi Gallery in London in October 2019 and was then sent to the US for a show in New York City. Returning to the UK, it was included in the closing show of the Anemoi Gallery in London in February 2020. This was the last time the painting was exhibited. This painting was sold to a private collector in January 2022.

 

It was included in an Article in the Turkish equivalent of People Magazine in 2019, and its theme was integrated into the billboard for the Eskisehir show.

 

It was also printed on a silk robe that was worn by the artist’s wife at the Orange Gallery Show in Ankara in October 2021.

 

This history of the painting serves to confirm its authenticity.

The sun shines so bright, it is almost blinding. Out of the brain of man has come the idea of flying. It has germinated like a plant born on the convolutions of thoughts, and the desire to reach the sun has exploded similar to the force of the eruptive volcano that grows with each one of its eruptions. Everything had started so well. From the mind of Daedalus, the concept had been calculated, the wings made to look smooth and light like a butterfly’s. Icarus soared gracefully into the sky, escaping the prison of gravity. But then, the sun burnt his wings and they fell apart, like the remnants of our own aircraft when they fail to remain airborne. And the Island of Icarus, outlined on the lower left side of the painting, would bear the name of the hero, or the victim. We are all Icarus. We all dream to reach new frontiers, to amass more wealth, to become better at what we do. And the myth of Icarus is not that of the first man to fly, it is the myth we all pursue, that of creating a better life for ourselves. While some succeed, the vast majority fails. It is a statistical curve that cannot be denied. For every 100,000 that try, one will reach the goal, the others will be worse off for having tried. Why do we do it? Is it for the women, as implied in the painting? Is it because it is simply within the realm of the possible, of the achievable? Is it because we come from a world we do not understand, a world that has conditioned us to go for the improbable? The remnants of our failures are omnipresent, and while we cannot know why, we know we are all Icarus. We will try regardless of the potential disastrous consequences. What remains is an obscure memorial, lost in the wilderness of the mountains.

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