February 5, 2023

By Heidi Trautmann ….
www.heiditrautmann.com ….

It was not at all easy to find a parking space near the hotel at 4 o’clock on 11th January for the painting exhibition of Lapta based painter Salih Mustafa Çizel, where he entertains the art gallery Rönesans.

In the entrance hall of the hotel a defilé of guests in cocktail robes and evening dress, velvet jackets… with the employees balancing trays with drinks and exquisite finger food through the assemblage of guests. I thought I had come to a wedding reception but then I found Salih with his old hat on, and Ahmet Kale and Sarp Sertel from the Art Gallery Cyprus.com, who had organized the exhibition with the Merit Hotel sponsoring the cocktail party. WOW, I said while I was shaking hands.

Salih is an old friend whose work and involvement in his village I have been following for many years. Only in 2017 he had an exhibition at the Art Gallery Cyprus.com in Nicosia where his new working style was shown and widely discussed. ‘Transformation’ was the title. At the opening of last year’s exhibition he said “one day I will make contact with the beginning of my creative life and work, I will have established the complete circle, I will show in a concentrated abstract form my philosophy of art.” Perhaps this is the moment? I had no chance to ask him at the opening. I am convinced that he still will present us with some more transformation in the future …. To understand Salih Mustafa Çizel and his work you have to know his life story which I had published some years ago in Cyprus Observer following an interview I had with him at my house in Yeşiltepe. Please click here

The current exhibition was opened by the hotel management which has generously offered space to the arts which – I am sure – will bring positive response to them.

The guests could see some of the remaining old style paintings, land and seascapes but also some of his later style where the artist found himself on the road to abstraction, a sort of retrospective.

His palette is pure colours, in pasty application on canvas, lately with the knife. I repeat here what I said on his last exhibition in 2017….

“There is a lot of abstract thinking in travelling the seas, there is architecture between a sailing boat and the waves and the sky; there is a graphic understanding between man-made structure and structures of nature. Salih’s abstract paintings of boats and sea are actually the true image of a sailor’s experience. Salih said, he loves the sea and watching boats, having grown up in Larnaca and spending many years in Girne harbour. I wonder what his next transformation will show us, a Cypriot has two loves, that is the sea and the mountains.”

The exhibition will remain open until 31 January 2019….

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