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Courtesy: Simay Keles

Scope BLN



Sunset Express Tours & Travels Inc.

Solo exhibition by Simay Keles


March 14 – March 30, 2024

Opening: Thursday, March 14 at 6 p.m.

Artist Talk: Thursday, March 21 at 6 p.m.

„And maybe there is no nation or citizenry; they’re just territories mapped in place of family, in place of love, the infinite country. When you leave one country for another, nobody tells you years will bleed together like rain on newsprint. One year becomes five. Five years become ten. Ten years become fifteen.“

Patricia Engel, Infinite Country


Simay Keles’ solo exhibition invites the audience to a world of desirable illusions. It showcases two-layered mixed media paintings that are dedicated to those who have left their places of birth or long to leave for various reasons. It deals with this ceaseless movement of groups of people, destinies, intentions and ideas between East and the West.

People in the East migrate to the West in search of a better and dignified life, seeking basic human rights, justice and independence. The road leads them to the West, where the sun sets. They follow the sun, believing that the further west they go, the better their lives will be. But what awaits them when they finally arrive, if they arrive at all?

The Western man, on the other hand, rushes to the East and uses the short annual vacation to yearn for a "slower" world, an exotic illusion or a new meaning in life. But what awaits them when they return home?


Keles creates a world that seems almost artificial capturing both the beauty and mystery of day and night scenes by using a two-layered approach. She uses non-natural and toxic colors like neon and cadmium, which suggest the degeneration caused by humans.

Without preliminary sketches, Keles creates her two-layered work while leaving the first layer visible to the viewer. It is a sculptural approach to the canvas, as the spatial displacements resulting from the two layers create visual confusion, optical illusions and an unconventional perception of spaces. Although her work bears more resemblance to that of the Abstract Expressionists, Keles returns as Impressionist abstraction to blurred reality.


The symbolic elements in these paintings appear to be partly displaced. The palm trees seem to promise wealth and prosperity, while the burning sun, toxic-greenish atmospheres, desert-like landscapes and dry beaches and roads suggest contemporary concerns citing a particular engagement with humanity's anxiety with the changes we are seeing in the world but also the nature: global warming, interference of human control over geographic space, wars, immigrations resulting because of the war or climate crises.

In Keles’ paintings, beauty and anxiety go hand in hand.



Simay Keles is a painter based in Hamburg, Germany. Born in Izmir, Turkey in 1988, she moved to Germany to pursue her studies when she was 18. Working in series, Keles’ work responds to nature and human experience. Keles is profoundly inspired by her travels. She paints what she recognizes and witnesses as beautiful and in danger of erosion. Her work moves between figuration and abstraction, depending on the series she is working on.

Opening: Thursday, March 14 at 6 p.m.


Scope BLN

Lübecker Str. 43 10559 Berlin

Working hours: Monday - Sunday 12 pm - 7 pm

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