Last Friday, March 10th 2017, signed the opening of solo exhibition named “Archetipi” by artist Irem Incedayi ( at the Galleria Cà d’Oro ( in Rome.

Irem Incedayi

Irem Incedayi

She is an acclaimed artist both locally and internationally. She has participated in personal and collective exhibitions countless times and awarded by the municipality of Rome and by the Turkish Embassy. What is peculiar about her work? A lasting connection with the eastern world she has always been interested in and looked up to  which she joins with Ancient Roman traditions. Her crucial themes are: Rome classicism, opulence of Ancient Constantinopolis, frescos in Pompei, the ruins of Efeso and Islamic decorating patterns full of symbolism.

The fusion between Ancient Rome and the precious and symbolic trimmings, heritage of her experience and dreams of the East, are all visible in her Allegories: from the drawings portraying San Peter in Vatican,  the illustration of the architecture of Saint Sofie in Instanbul, cultural and religious symbols of both cities. The oriental pattern inspired to flower decorations- present in mosques- and embroidery will be certainly the cornerstone in her series of works entitled Symbols. Arabic calligraphy, ornaments, weavings: a self-reproduction without space and time continuity.

The title of her show is simple, but at the same time complex as the definition of archetype embraces different fields, from Philosophy to mythology and even narration.

Why did you chose this title? Besides, is your religious-mythical inspiration somehow linked to you origins? Could you describe your relation with faith?

In architecture and painting there are some cyclic signs we can consider archetypes,  namely a sign that man used as means of communication even  before language and throughout evolution it has developed until our time. These are decorations with a symbolic value: it is on these signs that I focused my research to create this exhibition. The symbolic meaning of these signs (or “decorations”, this word is somewhat simplistic) has been showing since ancient time through myths and metaphors.

In your section, about 20 of your works will be displayed both small and large size. I guess it has been challenging and tiring to make such a great amount. I know that this question may sound trivial, but do you have any models you aim at? Did you get  specific inspiration or is it the result of a conceived project?

I have been preparing this show for a long time, about a year. My works represent a long research and study and are the result of a natural evolution of work made of experiments, tests and search to use new materials in order to reach the intuition and the prefixed idea. My plan is to take my exhibition to Istanbul.

While reading some anticipation, I noticed you put a very interesting thematic subdivisions we could discuss for a long time given its complexity. Could you briefly explain how you chose every piece and your attachment to them?

Mythology is a cyclic theme in my works: the common thread in my artistic production. The history of the West is the result of a very productive interaction between  Greek-Roman myths and those from Asia Minor and also with all those cultures facing the Mediterranean sea: that’s the explanation to some of the titles, such as Samsara. The painting illustrates a round decoration with a round centre recalling the circle of life, death and  rebirth often portrayed as a wheel.

Labirinto 100 x 100 – Courtesy of Irem Incedayi

Labirinto 100 x 100 – Courtesy of Irem Incedayi

I used acrylic painting on a steel sheet whose oriental drawing reminds of a labyrinth inspired by the character of Greek mythology, the great architecture, sculptor and inventor known for the building of the Minotaur labyrinth. Narciso was created with the use of fresco, pigments and natural earth where the decorations are inverted or upside-down to create a symmetrical shape as if it was reflected in the mirror. That’s how the myth comes out playing a role rich in symbols in the aftermath of a divine punishment, he falls in love with his own reflection and  dies by falling into the river where he would look at his image. Besides mythology, another recurring theme is nature as model of beauty and perfection that has always guided Humanity in their life. The works  Le stelle, Diamante, Cristallo, Sole is a tribute to nature.

Cristallo 100 x 80 – Courtesy of Irem Incedayi

Cristallo 100 x 80 – Courtesy of Irem Incedayi

One last question. Being an artist is not easy nowadays, in fact those who decide to follow this career are deemed crazy or discredited.  Your artistic career and your presence in Contemporary Art could be an inspiration for young artists who try to get a foot in the door and wish to have a career as successful as yours. Could you give them some moral and practical advice?

I grew up in a family of artists, my father is a great artist from whom I unconsciously took inspiration. I have always lived this situation normally. I understand   this may not be an easy choice, but like all important decisions, you must follow your instinct. There has been more and more interest in art, painting and expressive forms in general especially by young people. It is key that the young have passions and institutions play a crucial role: culture in general terms must be a the protagonist.

Article and interview by Loriana Pitarra

English translation by Chiara Vilmercati