three to five years Güner Pir, a painter with a very special language of expression,
shows his work to his attentive admirers and followers - and since 2007 at the same place. Güner Pir
has remained true to his philosophy over the many years I have been following
him and since I interviewed him in 2005 in his studio.
a very subtle way Güner Pir is telling the story of his country, the island of
Cyprus and being born in Paphos, he adds a kind of sadness and nostalgia to his
tools. Precious… it is the first thought that comes to my mind.
my first interview with him we went in detail into his working technique which
“First comes the
structure – the structure to receive and carry the idea I have and like a womb
it develops the idea by itself; that is the nature of my paintings, the growing
process. My paintings have a life process. I take up a pebble which catches my
eye and I study it, its colours its lines and while I turn the pebble in my
hand, gradually, in my mind an idea is engraved. That is the precise moment
which could trigger a new series of paintings.”
The structure in
his paintings has a dominating language, you want to get closer and touch it.
It speaks to you. “The structure is my signature, that is me, that is Güner Pir. I work with my
knife to obtain the fine structure until it has the life I have in my mind.” It
is a building-up process of different paint layers, oil paints given time to
dry, then worked over again.
31 paintings of this year’s exhibition are held in an antique cream and brown
tone, the colours of history. Güner Pir
focusses on specific topics – and often one canvas is not enough to tell the
whole story so we get to hear several variations such as… Cypriots, Hard Years,
The Last Bendo, Lefkoşa…. Lefkoşa, The Dowry Chest, Coffee Fortune and so
forth. With “Cypriots” he refers to Rauf
Denktaş’ well-known quotation: ‘The best Cypriots are its donkeys’… in Hard
Years he pays his respect to the times when brothers killed brothers. The other themes about the local traditions,
lost traditions, give you some heart ache and a longing for the old days,
memories we somehow all have, goes with the dreamlike female figure that
impersonates the story told, also for the beautiful Arabic calligraphy Güner
Pir is a master in.
the exhibition is over and we have to wait for another three years. However, my
photos may give an impression. I am
sorry that I could not bring my thoughts much earlier onto paper but for six
weeks I was not available for reasons of moving house.