Nights on Beyoglu, Timurtas Onan

Nights on Beyoglu’ is an epic work by Timurtas Onan. In his hands, the subject assumes a timeless expression of the human condition while being located now, in lstanbul in Beyoglu and at night. Timurtas is an artist in the great tradition of art. This is a complete and complex work like a l7th century triptych and, as always, he treats his subject with a sensitive understanding, respect and affection, mixed, at times, with humour. He is never, ever cynical. These images of life, taken after dark and until] dawn when the people of this human theatre return to their homes -lodgings, llats, rooms or card- board patches on the street, have a vividness that carries us to the heart of life in this vibrant part of contemporary Istanbul. The work sings to the colours. sounds and images of the street and the often marginal people he touches with his camera. He uses this as a painter would use his brush and palet and I am reminded of Heronimous Bosch, Goya or Toulouse- Lautrec. We see the street vendors of many sorts, the old men, the lovers, the disposessed and others seeking the distractions of the night; the lights of the shops and the cacophony of sounds from Classical music tumbling out of a shop to those other sounds belonging to the street. Here in its exaggerated forms is humanity found in its many colours; passing images in the life of this ancient city.

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