demon kidnaps man by richard bartle


About the work

With this demon my starting point was the architecture around me again. In Istanbul there’s a style of building from the 50s and 60s that’s quite notorious. The buildings, which are concrete frame and often decorated with ceramic mosaic, were erected on the sites of the old wooden houses of Istanbul by the Laz Müteahhit (Black Sea Contractors). Their reputation for odd styles and unusual, often illogical, layouts is a bit of a butt of people’s humour. These days though, they are seen as dangerous structures often made with beach sand containing seashells and even lacking sufficient metal reinforcing. People who live in Laz Müteahhit houses live in fear of the earthquake, as in so many previous tremors they collapsed. Demonic indeed!

My own apartment block was built by the Laz Müteahhit.

The man the demon is carrying is Selahattin Demirtaş, member of parliament and leader of The People’s Democratic Party (HDP), a popular left-wing party who also support the Kurdish people’s struggle for autonomy - It is for or this that Demirtaş is currently in prison.  In his absence, during the national elections, in order to compensate for this, cut-outs of him were placed near the canvassing centres and I saw many people getting selfies with them. On one occasion I witnessed a party worker pick up the cut-out and walk away with it under his arm. The parallels of the situation were not lost on me.

İnsan kaçıran demon
(demon kidnaps man)


mixed media on canvas

276cm x 189cm

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© 1996 Richard Bartle, all rights reserved.