A Delicate Multi Layered Pattern or İmpressions From an Evil World


Last paintings of Hayri Esmer, which are variations on a theme, are walking through an interesting direction. By using sequential paintings, which include spatial dynamics and determined accents, the artist imprisons us in a psychic space, where is stuck in form-meaning relations between individual and society and becomes increasingly problematic.  In this point it is obvious that, seemingly figurative elements are dedicated to “a closed and narrow space”… The works are taken their shape between minimalist architectural perception and esthetic of embroidery painting: Even tough in those works identified as a geometric abstract order scheme, on the first stage with the touch of a wall or a rampart image, meaning of rendered masonry slithers in to a negative state. Such as this invites the spectator in to a world of bizarre and contradictory perception…Yes; Hayri Esmer, with his architectural fictive artist attitude, dedicates his painting to a curious abyss-space relationship.  Sketchy masonry and fusion of shade and pattern, present us dystopic values and visions in a colorless order. In a world besieged by walls and fortress…

Monumentalizing and Petrifying Spiritual Structures

In the art of Hayri Esmer, during the process of design and construction, the structures that we encounter, which are ornamented with fantastic attributes, however have simple and surpassed visualization, include a sequence of imagery, primarily which we relate with the concept of “the wall”.  We face with the spatial elements, which carry out the painting such as rampart, fortress, house, prison and/or (most importantly) “the window”. These environment descriptions, which prevent the spectator to enter and force her to stand still afar, point out different aspects of social memory. For this reason they transform in to dangerous and impassable spiritual structures, which prove, include and hide life stiles and perception habits that are collective identifications. These structures, which are petrified and monumentalized as an element of tension and threat, are temples now; they reflect the barriers and borders around minds that are bond by the civilization. On the other hand as if tension and motion, which rumble the domain of the painting, point out the process of vanishing and dissolving of vital values…

A Visualization Related With Violence

From the beginning, Hayri Esmer has been pursuing on an intense and dynamic visual effect. Within the possibilities of his artistic language, the artist uses figurative elements as symbolization of time and space concepts, more often with an attitude seems like which ascribes locality and profundity; he prefers this conceptual and schematic figuration. These elements, which point out danger or insecure, are only symbols, which are incarnated by a determined synthesis…Actually Hayri Esmer, who develops local perception by using abstract and skin-deep relations, sharpens a visual effect, which gets tangled with black and white contradiction. He points out that in this organization, the black accents from the paintings’ fiction with a representation attribute beyond the limits of its capabilities and visual effects, which develop through print making esthetic, become base to new plastic explorations. This point, the (noir) narrative, which metamorphoses and convenes much more unique qualities, dedicates itself immediately to a tension phenomena and violence related visuals continuum, that surrounds the pictures’ wholeness. Hayri Esmer has a seemingly problematic counter manner towards the difference that we have felt in this moment, general perception and esthetic comprehension. In other words, he is in pursuit of impulsive results, which feed on social dynamics and cultural phenomenons. According to indicatory values, he is the master of an art, which is seemingly undefined, however strongly alarming and armed with a harsh superstructure…

Hayri Esmer starts to give shape to his paintings with a “spark”. This spark, that relies on dominant spatial qualities, manifests its’ own conceptual equivalent in a schematic frame. In the same process, this spatial motive, which identifies its visualization with straight logic forcing perspectives, strengthens meanings of concepts such as confidential or being suppressed (just like Crime and Punishment) with an almost psychic reference. And in this general imaginary structuring, the “wall” like elements, which give shape to the space in a hierarchic orderly manner, creates fields and borders on the painting.   In spite of its’ design appeal, in a world, which has an evil ambiance, Hayri Esmer puts fort many, many different visual aspects; he warns us for our ordinary adoption habit and as if he wants to question our good will. He is testing our feelings towards the crime formations that we become a part of as a result of our apathy.       

A Window to Abyss  

In his last pictures, Hayri Esmer pushes forward the window metaphor and he identifies this voyeur crack as “middle layer”. On this theme he creates a contradicting tension between interior and exterior. Generally in this fiction, interior is the unseen. And the exterior engulfs us and the artists’ himself, so it is the familiar environment, where we use to live. The common gaze, that bends towards the interior, and the sense of wonder creates a restless, anxious desire to learn. In fact both places are surrounded by the negativities of the process of annihilation.

Window, as spatial element, is a multi faceted image, which ads profundity to the construction it belongs to. It identifies its’ responsibilities of representation through the continuity of form-content relation. It becomes a universal symbol that opens a view to the acts of watching and peeping or to be watched or peeped. In every way, its’ identicalness with a subject related, slim incision, which gives direction to the time and space dialectics, is un-evitable. Whit this, it is the key for understanding space, which becomes a de-constructed historical and cultural pattern. Consequently, this element / image, which is put fort on the thematic periphery by Hayri Esmer, is an abstract and schematic conception of an abandoned and debauched life focus.   Even, this middle layer, which gradually separates exterior from interior, leaves its’ functional integrity and it is simplified as symbol/form; on the other hand as a design element on narrations’ surface, it is diversified. Thus, artist reserves the things on for ground and background as a problem towards the meaning; in his own abstraction universe he fulfills himself according to his needs. Through an expression process for improvisation, artistic emphases, which gives unique qualities to the surface and pattern.              

In the paintings of Hayri Esmer, interestingly, images of “window”, which symbolizes commentary and “wall”, which symbolizes imprisonment, are used as an approach, that creates unity. Gradually simplifying window is overlapped with wall as a totally construction / motive in sequential compositions. Tension pioneering this in black and white contradiction, becomes a mono imaged composition element that creates danger and oppression. With a non-centric development understanding, speed and tension, which results the abstraction, becomes the identifier of tragedy. As a matter of fact, Esmer catches an expression level, that highlights graphic effects in a visual narration, which relies on black / white contradiction. The artist, whose identifies areas created by white with lumen, fixes light as a dramatic structure giving principle element. Impressions related to violence and tension, products identified with a dimension of deep inner realism or imaginary forms, which interact with vital or daily stuff, gain a unity of meaning by “light”. Because with the created light is highlighted as an effect that penetrates to the spatial depth by constructing reason why relation with window and wall; it shows itself as an account of time. In this abstract and / or dynamic construction with few elements, white clothed by the light becomes a portion of a confrontation, which (partly) out casts anxiety and fear.

A Perception Aperture Related With Sympathy Of Loss

Hayri Esmer erects abstract constructions with mass of contours accomplished in rush through vertical and horizontal peripheries on the other hand he tries to define image of “space” that devotes its’ spatial quality to the abstraction. Through the thematic frame, “space”, which contains last samples of this painting sequence, is related with the moods in process of comprehension and thought that gives direction to the painting. Change of perception, which is neutralized through discussion on its’ source and qualities according to psychological factors from an understanding, which relies on observation, impressions and identification, is put forward as an unavoidable metamorphoses… Space presents an enriching environment, which carries fantasy and makes it anonymous to some extent as well as conveys hump and ambiguity through the process of subjective.                           

Really, development understanding, which gives direction to Hayri Esmers’ art; shifts to an indefinite range, that cares and gives preference to esthetic meaning.   In its’ own sequence imaginary order, which meets an abstract, plastic understanding that gradually becomes ambiguous in painting. For instance “Seyir Defteri/Cronicles” series, idea of wall and window gets free of their shallow meaning and asserts a gaze towards outer world from a more wider perception interstice. In this stage, Esmer preserves his painting namely general plastic effects so he plans to reach the level of discussions and gradual comments. However in present condition, it’s obvious that he appreciate art action in a counter esthetical manner through a thematic context dominated by fear and anxiety. Even tough, narration, which simplifies to extreme levels keeps all outcast visual elements through a tendency, which evocates the problematic of “value lose”. At the end, a sensitivity, which’s references about time and culture depends on conscious preferences and simplifies itself by conserving fundamental values, is at stake here. 

A New Romanticism Depended On Misery

In fact, Hayri Esmer seems like wanting to describe fear of “total annihilation”, which becomes unchangeable paranoia of postindustrial society, on a plane, the values decomposing, deconstructing and (in fact) purifying while dispersing, came to gather. He stages the fear of death on a seemingly aberrant and/or quite tidy, esthetical frame. This narration, which easily change in to a typical theory of explosion, opens place for a lot of seemingly improbable things in its’ chaotic atmosphere. Such if, in here the valid think is an expression that’s showing death for persuading to live, recommending and defending life. The   “improbable” is largely some kind of a description for loneliness created by death… Even, a phrase peculiar to oracle literature “a new romanticism depends on misery” is under consideration may be... this effort for the benefit of “Arranged collective life style losing its’ essence” reality, omnipotence of behavioral modals shaped by seemingly bad, immoral and crude impulses, a life rendered unlivable by social and political occasions, gains meaning with Hayri Esmer creates an “inspiration space” for himself and wants to be crier of havoc. This ironic description is a painting experience, which points out potential dangers in most concepts and assemblies that we glorified; it can be elegant and effective as much as rude and stimulant.

Interpretation from Turkish by M. Korkut Öztekin