Turkish painter Ömer Kaleşi's exhibition entitled "Derviş Yunus" has been unveiled in Paris.
At the opening ceremony of the exhibition, organized by Yunus Emre Institute's Paris Branch at the Grand Mosque in Paris between December 13 and 19, 2019, painter Ömer Kaleşi briefed the participants about his 27 works which were put on display.
"Every artist who happens to visit Paris uses the monuments like the Eiffel Tower, the hill of Montmartre, and the Moulin Rouge as models. Returning home, s/he will be proud to open an exhibition about the 'City of Light'. I paint dervishes, shepherds, children, women, men and the Balkan tragedies, and mostly, heads," said Kaleşi to describe his artistic mindset. He described the source of inspiration for the exhibition "Derviş Yunus" as follows:
I take a walk along the Arago Street every evening in Paris, where I have been living for more than 50 years and which I have never painted although I love it very much. In the fall season, several ailing chestnut trees which are located in the neighborhood where I live are pruned and in the spring season, new trees are planted in their place. In 2003, some 60 trees were pruned, and next year, 60 trees were cut down. This issue was covered by the media as well; the same disease had hit all chestnut trees around the world. The cut tree trunks with a height of 30-40 cm which were burned with fire and whose hearts have been opened to a black hole were left behind in the Arago Street. Like the life that has been born out of its ashes, 40 pictures have come to being with inspiration from these black holes. I have painted heads... dervishes, shepherds, men and women. Like many artists who came before me, it was my time to paint Paris. I was happy to pay my debts to Paris."
The opening ceremony also featured a recital by ney (reed flute) player Pelin Başar while French artist Carole Latifa recited poems by Rumi and Yunus Emre, and the guests were treated with unique delicacies from Turkish cuisine.