Miniaturist: Yakup CEM
by Ozden DURAN
Yakup Cem is one of the worldís leading experts
on Persian miniature painting technique and is an academic
specialist in Ottoman Arts and Culture. Born in Iran,
Cem now lives in Istanbul, Turkey and teaches "traditional"
painting styles at the Mimar Sinan University. In recent
years, he has become increasingly interested in European
academic painting. This current series of work represents
a blend of Western Academic and traditional Persian styles
of painting. His refined painting techniques and his attention
to detail are also reflected in his choice of frames -some
of which he has hand-constructed from parts of centuries-old
frames and decorative materials. His oil canvas paintings,
skillfully beautified by various different elements such
as wood, gold, diamonds and ivory were regarded as revolutionary
changes in the Turkish art Community. While continuing
his innovations, he was invited to all major exhibitions
in Turkey including the prestigious IRCICA (Islamic History,
Arts and Culture Research Foundation) and KUSAV (Culture
and Art Foundation) annual exhibitions.
Yakup Cem: Miniature, 90 cm X 60, 1996
His works was sought after major collectors and inspired many young
artists specializing in Islamic arts of miniature and
painting. His efforts were recognized and awarded by various
foundations and organizations. In 1999, IRCICA presented
Cem the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award"
for his contributions and devotion to Traditional Turkish
Inevitably, his unprecedented technique and vision brought him
fame in his respective area internationally as well. His
was invited to European countries including France and
Great Britain. In 1998, his works were featured and sold
in the annual exhibition of "Art in Action"
in Oxford, London. Later on in 1999, his works were exhibited
in Galleries La Fayette in Paris at the special exhibition
established to celebrate the "700th
Anniversary of the Ottoman Empire." Entering the
new millennium, his fame extended to America and he was
invited to the annual exhibition of California State University
so that young artists would be exposed and benefit from
his exceptional skills and technique.
Truly a world artist today, Cem continues to experiment with different
elements to bring unique approaches to the world of art.
Cem's latest works can be seen in his second exhibition
in the United States.
The new exhibition will open on May 15th 2003 at
the Turkish Tourism Art Gallery, at the corner of the
1st Avenue and 46th Street, and
will be remain until May 31. 2003.
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This exhibition is sponsored by the Consul General of Turkey
in New York.