Born in Selb, Germany 1967
Lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey
Known for his “emotional realism” paintings, Taner Ceylan graduated from the Fine Arts Faculty at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul in 1991. That same year, Ceylan presented his first group show and first solo exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany. His seminal exhibition and performance “Monte Carlo Style,” debuted in 1995, making a significant impact on the Turkish art scene. Ceylan worked as a lecturer at the Fine Arts Faculty of Yeditepe University, 2001 – 2003 and was editor in chief of Time Out Istanbul’s arts section, 2001 – 2006.
Taner Ceylan has exhibited in numerous international art fairs, museums, and galleries including in New York (2009); the 8th International Istanbul Biennial (2003); the 9th International Istanbul Biennial (2005), “Postcards from CAC” at the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2009); “Naked” at Paul Kasmin Gallery (2009); Istanbul Next Wave (2010); Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2010); “Istanbul Modern” at the Museum Boijman Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2011). His work is in private and public collections worldwide, including the Sveaas Art Collection and Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.
Curator Dan Cameron, who has championed the painter, orients him in a tradition of sexually explicit art stemming from Robert Mapplethorpe to Jeff Koons. Cameron says, “One of Turkey's most prominent artists, Taner Ceylan makes hyperrealist paintings that bespeak absolute technical mastery and precision, but which are also freighted with an emotional and sexual dimension usually absent from the genre--qualities that have set him apart from the prevailing tendencies in contemporary Turkish art, and which at times have also brought him outright abuse in the press." Ceylan's paintings occupy a register somewhere between the mutely homoerotic (as in his portrait of a bloodied and perspiring boxer--possibly an allegory of the artist's own trials) and the overtly sexual (to enter his website “you must be at least 18 years of age”). Cameron points out that the implicit argument of Celyan's work is “a romantic arguing for the wholesomeness of gay male sexuality.” (Exerpted from We Don't Know Who We Are in Taner Ceylan: 1997-2009. Damiani, Italy, 2011)