Coplu (Canada)

Artist Coplu, was born in Ushak, Turkey, is based in Vancouver-Canada, and Antalya-Turkey. He is represented and exhibited at galleries around the world.

Coplu’s journey as an artist began at a very early age when he was a child. His family was involved in the carpet business so they spent their days making dyes, coloring yarns, drawing figures and matching patterns. His mother carried him in her backpack while weaving and she would explain to him what the various patterns meant and the effects of color in carpets.

His family moved to Istanbul when he was six and he lived there for thirty years. The sixties and seventies were periods of optimism, socialism and humanism in Turkey but the 80’s brought very difficult political and social events. In response to censorship and oppression of freedom of expression he began to draw cartoons. His passion for drawing grew as he was studying to become a mining engineer at Istanbul University. He realized that he could not keep his mind on his studies while it was completely occupied with social issues, because he witnessed great turmoil in his day to day life which he documented in his art and it was not long before his art became more important to him than his studies.

He held in his first art exhibition in Istanbul in 1984, followed by many solo exhibitions in Turkey and group exhibitions in Italy, Japan, France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Spain, USA and Canada. His drawings have been published in numerous magazines, newspapers, books and catalogues both in Turkey and across Europe. Since his first international recognition in 1989 with the Nasreddin Hodja International Cartoon Competition Special Talent Award, he has received 25 awards in national and international competitions, including second prize in cartoon competition in Okhotsk – Japan.

He contributed cartoons to the Turkish Daily News for over five years. He established an Open Air Cartoon Exhibition Space and the Cartoon School of Antalya. Under the auspices of these institutions he taught many pupils the art of seeing the humorous side of life. He has been exploring forms of visual art and he developed his own style of painting. The subjects of his paintings are always human beings and the environment they are part of. His work mirrors human beings’ feelings, beliefs, thoughts, fears and experiences.
He has been interviewed by many media, his work has been recently documented by Channel News Asia and screened around 22 countries in Asia, his paintings are mainly bought by private collectors and institutions. Six of his paintings are printed as limited editions by Aurora Fine Art Publisher and sold in over 50 galleries in the UK.

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