Praise of Pinwheels from Safai

Seval Deniz Karahaliloglu

Pinwheels seem like portraits, coming from the tales of "1001 Nights", and moreover it reminds of colorful candies just for kids. Various colours of pinwheels are fascinating arts lovers at Izmir Basak Insurance Art Gallery. Painter Safai is not only a simple painter, he is also a philosopher. He is deeply interested in Sufism and transcendental Mevlevi philosophical comprehension and he prefers to express himself with colorful paintings just like pinwheels.
The exhibition theme is a commentary of life in a mystic way and the meaning of existence of human beings. Pinwheels are used for a symbolic figure for climbing to another upper dimension and for turning paper pinwheels. There are over 50 paintings, which are made using an acrylic technique and connected with the modern figurative style. Apart from normal scale paintings, Safai likes to work on large-scale work such as the surface of all the walls of the art gallery. There were different techniques used to create a sense of unusual texture and various tastes. Colours have taken the place of the foreground in these paintings, which use hot, vivid and soft tones such as red, orange, blue, purple and yellow. Safai explained how colours have important effects in his works. "These colours define the purity of existence in this world and also perfectly reflecting my positive energy."
Safai is an extraordinary artist, philosopher, writer, poet and photographer. After he graduated from Selcuk University Architecture Faculty in 1973, he worked as a founder member of the Antalya Amateur Photographers Association. He won first prize in the State Photography Competition branch of black and white printing in 1988 and since 1993 he has opened 22 solo painting exhibitions.
There is limited information about the artist because he has a different comprehensive style from society. Being a philosopher painter simply changed his life style so he refused obstinately to give an identical artistic background for putting his exhibition in a brochure. Instead of a formal autobiography, he defines himself on his way. According to him, "birth of the human being occurred like pinwheels". Meaning of pinwheels is more than a simple toy for him. It is a way of transcendental improvement of poor souls for freedom and gets rid of all the chains, collars and coils from the daily rat race. Safai explained his point of view by saying, "My goal, transmitting the messages coming from a cosmic dimension to society with my paintings. My artwork is based on to turn the purity of self as doctrines as Mevlana, Buddhism and Sufism." Apart from the philosophic missions, just with attractive colours, paintings bringing to childhoods' colorful delicious candies. It is worth seeing the paintings just to reach childhood memories and remember the '1001 Nights Tales'. Safai's extraordinary pinwheels can be seen at Izmir Basak Insurance Art Gallery until October 18.
Izmir - Turkish Daily News