On the personal exhibition titled

"Gün Bitecek Yırt Fotoğrafları"

With coarse scissors,

They carved me out of an old photograph.

Half of my cheek remained there,

Piecing itself together with the emptiness.*


*Prologue, Metin Altıok/ Translation of the poem: Rukiye Uçar


These verses, taken from Metin Altıok’s poem Prologue, are like the verbalized expression of Deniz Bayav’s exhibition titled “Gün Bitecek Yırt Fotoğrafları/The Day Will End, Tear Photographs”. Dealing with the problem of time since her first works, the artist prefers to stop and freeze time with soft brush strokes and pastel colors instead of showing the flow of time and confines the passing time to a single moment through photographs.


For Deniz Bayav, who especially prefers to use the photographs that she has taken, photographs often expresses sadness rather than happy moments. In her works such as “Torn Photo III”, “At the Door”, “There Was No One”, in which she mostly focuses on a single figure, a disconnection is felt between the posing figures and the viewer; because it is not the figure in the work that Bayav wants to indicate. She is after the invisible, not the visible. Rather than the figure that appears on the canvas, she wants to convey and make the viewer feel the emotions of the other who has lived that moment or taken part in that photographic frame, the person who tore the photographs. On the other hand, in her works such as “Once Upon a Time” and “My Heart is a Green Sadness”, it is easier for the viewer to feel the presence of the second invisible figure and to fictionalize its narration…


The use of torn photographs as an image, adds an emotional meaning to the works, besides, it adds an aesthetic dimension. Deniz Bayav’s works are the projection of the past time periods on the canvas.


The protagonist of the narration is time in Deniz Bayav’s works, which focuses on figures and tries to convey the frustrations and distress of an individual who feels helpless and alone against the complexity of the modern world by activating the imagination of the viewer. While time represents a passed moment that was confined to a single photographic frame on the one hand, on the other hand, it creates the language of the dialogue with the viewer by integrating with the present moment in which she builds narrations on this photographic frame.


Şafak Güneş Gökduman

Translation of the text: Deniz Bayav

See Torn Photos Series

On the personal exhibition titled

"Susmanın Kenarında… Işığın Ortasında…"

A light is burning in the middle of time

A painting remaining from Rembrand, this sea

Now all beauties are fusty, a lie without you

Like desperate grass on the earth 

Here we are together in the farthest places

A painting remaining from Rembrand, this sea*


*Distant Lights, Ümit Yaşar Oğuzcan/ Translation of the poem: Derya Çolpan


Deniz Bayav is the painter of life in which the human being with all his existence is at the center but she is an artist of pure pictorial emotions with no pretension at all. Her paintings are the stories of experiences that the eye sees and the mind does not reject in creased photographs, of the “individual” who sometimes takes refuge in nature and sometimes tries to find his way behind city silhouettes in the face of this unstoppable flow that we call life. The figures of Bayav seem to relive all their experiences at a glance, in a tiredness, in a distraction, in a moment of surrender, in the shame of repeating themselves. These city-weary people, without separating time as past, present or future, surrender it to their thoughtfulness, gaze and sadness with an endless and boundless simplicity. Perhaps by forgetting.


The artist, who says, “The best way to describe the nature of man is not to create big dramatic compositions and add symbolic references to them but to get to know the individual with its past, sorrows, shelters, happiness, thoughtfulness and ambitions and its conditions in the city-country”, thinks that a photographic frame sometimes tells a whole human story.


The viewer feels that this spirit of pureness and depth in her colors and forms also spreads to the objects in her prints which are the other part of the exhibition and they are the partners of the sadness, pureness and desire to escape that complement the mood of the portraits.


The artist, who focuses on how she tells as much as what she tells, also likes to play with the canvas surface, which she does not consider as a background. Bayav, who made some of her paintings on cardboard that she formed, some on papier-mâché and some on special surfaces that she created herself, breaks the monotony of the surface with torn or creased photographs in the previous series; tries a similar fiction by separating her paintings into two different layers in this exhibition. Illuminated forms can be thought of as references to the ‘mandorla’ and ‘halo’ having historical background and meaning, while emphasizing the uniqueness and sanctity of the ‘individual’ in her paintings, in which the ellipse gives a new meaning and fictional layer with illuminated forms. The multiplying and intensifying layers of meaning of the fiction in the exhibition will increase with the light brought to the figures and spaces by the audience, who comes to the exhibition with knowledge, as well as the lights in the paintings.


Haluk Öner

Translation of the text: Deniz Bayav

See Chiaroscuro Series