Collage Burhan Doğançay
Burhan C. Doğançay (11 September 1929 – 16 January 2013) was a Turkish-American artist. Doğançay is best known for tracking walls in various cities across the world for half a century, integrating them in his artistic work.Since the early 1960s, Dogançay had been fascinated by urban walls and chose them as his subject. He saw them as the barometer of our society and a testament to the passage of time, reflecting the emotions of the city, frequently withstanding the assault of the elements and the markings left by people.It began, Dogancay said, when something caught his eye during a walk stroll down 86th street in New York:
" It was the most beautiful abstract painting I had ever seen. There were the remains of a poster, and a texture to the wall with little bits of shadows coming from within its surface. The color was mostly orange, with a little blue and green and brown. Then, there were the marks made by rain and mud"
As a city traveler, for half a century he has been mapping walls in various cities worldwide. In this context, urban walls serve as documents of the respective climate and zeitgeist, as ciphers of social, political and economic change. Part of the intrinsic spirit of his work is to suggest that nothing is ever what it seems. Dogançay's art is wall art, and thus his sources of subjects are real. Therefore, he can hardly be labeled as an abstract artist, and yet at first acquaintance much of his work appears to be abstract. In Dogancay's approach, the serial nature of investigation and the elevation of characteristic elements to form ornamental patterns are essential. Within this, he formulates a consistent continuation of decollagist strategies – effectively the re-contextualised deconstruction of positions related to the nouveau réalistes. Dogançay may have started out as a simple observer and recorder of walls, but he fast made a transition to points where he could express a range of ideas, feelings, and emotions in his work. His vision has continued to broaden, driven both by content and technique.Wikipedia