Murat Urlali is a Turkish-born Australian artist whose art practice explores figuration and patterned abstraction, combining illusionistic representation with geometric compositional formats. He migrated to Australia in 2004, after a successful career in the television and film industry. Art, and especially painting had always figured in the background of his career and in 2011 Murat decided to take up the opportunity to study Fine Art at the National Art School, completing a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) in 2015 and a Master of Fine Art Research (Painting) in 2017.
His highly commended research was entitled ‘The Gender Politics of Kitsch and Camp in Contemporary Painting’ and captured his aim of creating a bridge connecting idealised Western imagery with spiritual symbolism of the Islamic world, while at the same time further unraveling the system on binary oppositions including high and low, art and craft, irony and sincerity as well as masculinity and femininity.
My practice explores both figuration and patterned abstraction and combines illusinistic representation with geometric compositional formats. The large and small scale figural and still life paintings include jewelled surfaces which bring into relationship Western and Eastern (Ottoman) painting and decorative techniques. Artistically, I draw heavily from the combination of ornamental and persuasive painting techniques of Baroque art. My figurative paintings show male, or at least male-oriented figures emerging from intricate patterned framing supports.
Taking inspiration from the tenebrism of Caravaggio, classically illusionistic figures appear within a kitsch surround to provide both visual richness and intrigue. And, by combining Eastern or Oriental patterns with Western perspectival representation, I aim to create a bridge connecting idealised Western imagery with spiritual symbolism from the Islamic world. I want also to further unravel the system of binary oppositions including high and low, art and craft, irony and sincerity as well as masculinity and femininity.