way a person is at the age of seven, he/she will be at the age of seventy.”
is what Canan Cürcani says about her portrait paintings; there is truth in it,
the way a person grows up, the circumstances imprint its marks on one’s
personality, the mannerisms, reactions to situations result in a distinct
pattern of personality, and this is important to discover prior to create a
portrait of a person.
Cürcani was born in 1958 in Lefkosa as the daughter of Ümit Esinler, the photographer
who had his own philosophy about his profession and it must be on the basis of
her father’s philosophy around portraits that she is working. She says: “It is
more a probing into the personality, the catching of the aura of the person in
front of her than mere copying of the shell.” I remember the story her father
told me when I was interviewing him years ago for my book “Art and Creativity”
in North Cyprus”: An important figure in
society had come to him to have his portrait done or rather his son wanted it
done, and as it is the attitude of him to study the character first before
taking photos, it took several weeks; the portrait that came out was not at all
accepted by the man himself but by his son, who cried out: Yes, that is our
has studied art at the Mt.St.Joseph Academy in Canada. So far she has
participated in two group exhibitions. She is married and has two children. Her
father pushed her to continue her painting career and in the solo exhibition
she held in Nicosia in the month of March at the most beautifully
renovated ITÜ building, a dependence of
the Istanbul Technical University, she showed her portraits of well known
persons in society and politics but also from the circle of her close family
in oil in the very classical way, nothing distracts the viewer from the facial
traits – Canan concentrates on the face, the light in the eyes, perhaps the
hint of a smile; sometimes she brings the hands of the person into the picture,
for example in the portrait of her father, she succeeded to show him as he is.
She does not add any objects of personal life nor is she hinting at signs of
activities. Her brush stroke is very delicate and she knows how to set
highlights. She says of herself: “I don’t paint in the sense of today, my understanding is not modern or conceptual.”
her list of personalities she had painted portraits of: Dr. Fazil Küçük, Mehmet
Ali Talat, Derviş Eroğlu, Irsen Küçük, Gülün Küçük, Seyh Nazim Kenan Kibrisi,
Kenan Coygun, Asil Nadir, Metin A. Hakki, Inci Hakki, Adem Kader, Kivanc M.
Riza, Mehmet Tahiroğlu, Gülsün Sanver, Saffet Soykal, Mehmet Cürcani, Ümit
Esinler, Rüya Reşat, Vacide Esinler, Esin Okan, Nilsu Cürcani, Esin Cürcani,
Müge Denktaş, Su Maypa, Naz Maypa, Vera Gazi.
of the persons painted moved among us during the evening of the opening and
were photographed by their friends.