Ömer M Koç
60 x 40 cm, oil on canvas
The seated pose of the portrait echoes one found in a book of archive photographs of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, General and founding father of modern Turkey and a man greatly admired by the sitter. The pose differs from the Atatürk portrait however because the subject engages directly with the viewer. The penetrating gaze is that of a man who is constantly observing, whether it be books, catalogues or art works and objects.
The deep tomato red background is a reference to Iznik ceramics, of which the sitter is the predominant collector. The colour can be found in a particular kind of Iznik glaze and is a mark of quality. Within the folds of the fabric of his white shirt there are three further references: a tulip can be found on the left hand sleeve and a sailing ship on the right hand side, frequent motifs within Iznic ceramics. On the buttons is the last of these subtle clues: the swirl pattern often found on Iznik plates.
A principal aim of the portrait was to create an atmosphere of relaxed, confidence.