Wild horses might not normally gravitate you towards contemporary watercolours and/or equine subject matters, however just one fleeting glimpse of contemporary, er, watercolour artist, Birimís heavily horse-leaning portfolio and youíd be smitten, we can assure you. Birim (full name, Birim Aksuyek) is a Turkish-born contemporary fine artist who has a pleasing and recurrent habit of bringing equine art to full, colourific life before our very eyes. Not for him the more traditional approach of picturing a horse cantering across the gallops or bombing it around a race track, in a flurry of typical (often Impressionistic) illustrative fashion. Not when instead you can inject a fluid and real-time element into the pictorial proceeding.
Born and raised in Bursa in 1958, Birimís passion and intense knowledge of horses stems from his childhood, which was coloured by their presence at every turn courtesy of his familyís love affair with them. This awareness and appreciation was perpetuated when Birim chose to follow-up his inherent interest in all things equine by attending university to study Veterinary Medicine; which again brought him into regular contact, up close and personal, with horses of every conceivable shape and size. Birim completed his veterinary internship at a clinic in Normandy, France in 1980 and a year later graduated from Ankara University, Turkey.
On his graduation Birim secured employment with the Turkish Jockey Club, where he stayed and happily worked for seventeen years in total, practicing as a veterinary surgeon. It was in this particular guise that Birim acquired his acute understanding relating directly to the psychology and social interactions indicative of the animal, and was capturing all that he learnt as he went along in paint and on canvas as much as the compilation of academic case studies. Through this,Birimís archetypal compositional work reflects his love for his subject matter at every graphical turn as youíd expect of someone who quite literally got to know his muse inside out.
Aside from his prevalence for watercolours in his trademark compositions, Birim also opts to champion the cause of acrylics and oils as his co-mediums, and with a measured and considered blend of this triumvirate of materials successfully encapsulates the dynamics of horses in full flow. Manes blazing a trail behind them in the cut and thrust of the wind, whilst plumes of dust are simultaneously churned up from the ground beneath their galloping hooves all graphically forge to manifest this transient element in Birimís every brushstroke. Indeed, Birimís use of palette fosters a dramatic sense of the here and now, and as a viewer youíre instantly drawn into the very emotional core of the painting, as the piece echoes the artistís own dormant feelings of joy, passion and thrill.The action and feeling of the horses are always created in every image as Birim imagines being side by side with them, racing or galloping into the horizon and this is where the artistís conviction in his subject matter is at its illustrative best.
Despite calling Turkey his home still, and his homeland remaining the life-long base for his dual careers as vetenarian and artist, Birim has relished his time travelling recently, which heís been doing for the past 3 years. And of course wherever Birim travels heís committing his ideas to paper in readiness for his next compositional piece. Wherever and whenever Birim is, he still manages to dedicate the most part of his days to painting, very often working away on his labours of love until the small hours. Birim, very much believes in putting his all into each piece from the beginning to the signing off of the creative process, and as we mentioned above thereís no denying that the artist creates a heightened and illuminating sense of drama within the deepest throes of the pictorial space he has at his disposal. Whether this is capturing the atmosphere of the weather, the dust rising from the ground on which his horses circumnavigate or his fascination with the colours engendered within the space throughout various times of the day, all these pivotal elements play a huge part in depicting the atmosphere and mood of the scene.
When Birimís not painting heís unsurprisingly enjoys the outdoor life, and lists trekking and exploring amongst his other hobbies, yet at the same time always sketching and creating new ideas from his inspiration; the horse itself.
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