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A beautiful monograph on photographer Ara Güler, aka ‘The Eye of Istanbul’
“The power of Ara Güler’s photography lies in the way it creates a unique visual language within the practice of photojournalism, which may not necessarily demand a ‘personal touch’.”
Turkey’s best-known photographer, Ara Güler (1928–2018), depicted daily life in Turkey for three-quarters of a century. Güler captured the rough edges of Istanbul as well as all its splendour. Celebrated as ‘The Eye of Istanbul’, his poignant black-and-white images of his beloved city’s inhabitants, streets and docks remain his most celebrated works. But Ara Güler was far more than that. He created reportage photography all over the world, including in Somalia, Eritrea and Afghanistan. He photographed celebrities such as Alfred Hitchcock, Salvador Dalí, Maria Callas and Sophia Loren. His versatility can also be seen in experimental collages from the early part of his career and in more recent work when he plays with light and colour.
Being a testament to Turkey’s rich history, A Play of Light and Shadow offers a contemporary view of Güler’s work while also providing the opportunity to explore iconic and unknown parts of it.
With text contributions by art historian Kim Knoppers, curator and head of photography department at Istanbul Modern Demet Yıldız Dinçer, photographer and filmmaker Ahmet Polat, curator and head of exhibitions at Foam in Amsterdam Claartje van Dijk, and the Ara Güler Museum and Ara Güler Archives and Research Center.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name in Foam, Amsterdam, from 22 June until 8 November 2023.
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