The only auction house on Istanbul’s Anatolian side, Karşı Müzayede, is set to hold the Joint Artworks Auction on Feb. 24, and the artworks featured in the auction are currently being promoted on a 1986 model bus traveling around the city.
The double-decker bus, which is carrying the paintings in the auction along with the promotional catalogue, is travelling the various neighborhoods of the city and bringing art to the public. The purple-colored bus, covered with posters for the auction, is attracting particular attention for its convertible roof.
The bus is on the road with the motto “accessible art.” Karşı Müzayede General Coordinator Hafize Uncuoğlu said the first auction of the season was organized on Oct. 31, 2012 at the IAC Istanbul Exhibition Hall.
The masterpiece of that first auction was a work by İbrahim Çallı. In the auction, Çallı’s “Kayalıklarda Yıkana Çıplaklar” (Nudes bathing on a bluff) was sold for 500,000 Turkish Liras, after being found neglected in a house for many years. Çallı created the piece while staying on Kaşık Island, where the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, had given him a residence. The painting was made for his doctor, Mehmet Medeni Akman, and remained in Akman’s home for many years before it was given to experts for restoration.
Uncuoğlu said that their motto, “accessible art,” was aimed at bringing art to everyone. She said the goal was to communicate with both art lovers and collectors, “this is why we wanted to promote this auction in public spaces.”
A 1986 model bus was bought from Britain to serve this purpose. “To bring art to the public we have come up with the idea of a travelling bus. The auction will take place on Feb. 24 at 3 p.m., and the bus is travelling around various neighborhoods of the city in order to promote the event. I believe that this is interesting for art lovers. They will be able to find the auction catalogue and invitations in the bus,” Uncuoğlu said.
She added that collectors had called them asking if they would be able to contribute artworks to the auction, or to buy. She responded by saying that they would find the answers to their questions in the bus. Uncuoğlu said a total of 280 artworks, most of which are “classics,” would be auctioned at the next event.
A painting from the painter İbrahim Balaban’s family collection, titled “Doğum” (Birth), is to be put up for sale for 150,000 liras. “He is one of the master artists. The work also has a tragic story behind it. When Balaban was in the same prison as the poet Nazım Hikmet, he learned that his wife was pregnant but had lost her baby. This painting is one of the six paintings he made in prison and it has never been auctioned before,” Uncuoğlu said.
Another artwork in the auction is Devrim Erbil’s large painting “Istanbul Maviye Özlem” (Istanbul Longing for Blue), which will be auctioned for the first time at a price starting at 110,000 liras.
The opening price for one of Zekai Ormancı’s masterpieces, “Büyük Sessizlik” (Big Silence), will be 75,000 liras, Uncuoğlu also said, adding that four paintings by Turkish master Burhan Doğançay, who died last month, would also be included in the auction.