GS Günleri



Love he had for painting initiated him into drawing his first works of graffiti on the newly painted walls of his school, Galatasaray College.  That was in 1950, when graffiti was practically unheard-of.  The newly appointed schoolmaster as well as young Baskut himself had no idea that what he had drawn on the walls would be recognized as a piece of art in the future.  Nevertheless, the school management was highly impressed (!) by his achievement, to the effect that he was removed from school for three days.

At the college theatre he realized stage-settings and took part in several plays.  Then, he joined the group of Haldun Dormen, very talented young director who guided and trained young amateurs with passion for theatre.  There Baskut got acquainted with make-up.  Soon he learnt the skills of the profession and began to love it.  It was with four years' delay that he finally finished the college.  Despite the bad reputation he had at college as the naughtiest lazybones, he still looks back on this period of his life as "golden years".

In 1959, his father Cevat Fehmi Baskut, a highly esteemed journalist and playwright together with Muhsin Ertugrul, a renowned theatre-man encouraged him to go to Germany to study.  Consequently, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich to study stage-scenery and costume designing.  Unlike his sluggish performance of his college years, his study performance at the Academy was outstanding.  As if touched by a "magic wand" he could understand everything at lectures -despite the language barrier.  Obviously, all he needed was the magic of stage.

At a competition organized by the Academy he was awarded first prize for his scenery designs on Stravinsky's Fine Bird and Gounod's Faust.  The encouragement of two distinguished teachers, Prof Jurgens and Kurt Hallegger had an important impact on his success.  Despite his outstanding studies, the financial difficulties obliged him to work as street painter in Leopold Street in Munich.  That was in 1961-62.  Soon afterwards he had the chance to exhibit his paintings at a gallery where his works became the centre of great interest, providing him an interview on Munich Television.  As the result of this performance, he made a contract with IDM Galleries which had many branches in several big cities in Germany.  According to the terms of the contract the gallery would buy every picture he painted.  This agreement with the gallery put an end to his financial problems but took away from him the total number of his paintings belonging to his most productive period.

After having graduated from the Stage-Scenery and Costume Designing Section as "Meisterschuler" in 1965, he returned home to Istanbul.  In the same year he joined first the City Theatre and then the Istanbul State Opera.  Among his works were his father's plays "Haciyatmaz" and "Buzlar Cozulmeden", as well as Chekhov's "the Cherry Orchard" at Istanbul City Theatre followed by several operas like "Don Pasquale", "Manon Lescaut", "Cavalleria Rusticana" at Istanbul City Opera.  Later on he became the stage-designer of Ankara State Opera where he realized Rigoletto, Turandot, Martha, Lucia di Lammermoor, Il Travatore, Don Carlos, Don Pasquale and Aida by the scenery of which he was recognized as an expert.  After long years of stage designing in Ankara, he came back to Istanbul where as a member of State Opera he continued to design several stage-sceneries for operas like Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, the Abduction from the Seraglio, Koroglu and Kerem.

According to Acar Baskut the stage-designer is one of the most special instruments of an orchestra sometimes playing solo, sometimes fading away within the whole and sometimes staying silent.  In traditional terms stage-scenery is a world in which events take place.

One can always see the reflection of Acar Baskut's elegant personality with all its aspects in each of his paintings including his early works.  Although his style can be defined as post-impressionist, there are examples of surrealist works in his collection, in which his brush is more vigorous.  His colours virtually dance with love and freedom.  It is true that in all arts reform does not come out of the blue and no reform can occur without exerting any effort.

As a gifted artist he has devoted 40 years of his life to the Turkish art.  His paintings reflect the "Living Istanbul" where he has spent most of his life.  In his post-impressionist paintings one will find the nature, the sea, steam boats, Galata Bridge, Golden Horn, Bosphorus with its wooden houses, fishermen, seagulls, and yoghurt-vegetable pedlars. 

One of his paintings named "Mother and Child" was selected to be printed on UNICEF cards and to be displayed in 1995 UNICEF calendar, together with the works of the world-famous painters like P. Picasso, A. Renoir, Monet, etc.

He opened many personal exhibitions in big cities like Munich, Moscow, Tokyo, Istanbul, Ankara and Mersin.

Baskut who has lately familiarized himself with the modern technology, is one of the well-known painters in Turkey to produce some of his works on computer.

He has a retrospective book titled "Three Logs, Two Men, One Ambition".  It reflects the art of "being happy" by creating.




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