Photo courtesy of David Szekeres.
Levent Isik (1961-2019) - Folk Art
Inspired and influenced by the work of William Hawkins, Gregory Warmack (Mr. Imagination), Van Gogh and Morris Hirshfield, Levent Isik began painting at the age of 29. Based out of Columbus, OH, Isik creates his colorful, intricately patterned artworks on whatever scrap or discarded piece of wood he can get his hands on: plywood, barn wood, old cabinets. He transforms them into characters born from his subconscious; wolves, jesters, movie stars, clowns, and fairy tale princesses all populate the walls of his studio.
The signature of his handiwork has become a high-gloss polyurethane finish which emphasizes the two-dimensional elements he often incorporates, like dirt, bottle caps or glass eyes. His use of found materials, sculptural elements, and a vibrant color palette have brought him national recognition. Isik was one of the first 20th century artists to ever exhibit at the Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. He has shown at the Cantor Art Museum in Ohio, Ohio State University, the Renwick Gallery in New York City, the Museum of American Folk Art in NYC and the Delaware Museum of Art. In addition to his paintings, Isik creates illustrations for children's books for Abbeville Press, one of the largest publishers of children’s books in the world.
” His visual lexicon adds up to a playful, warmly humanistic vision filled with homey wisdom andmore than a dash of bawdy humor," Leslie Constable, Columbus Dispatch