One of Turkey's most prominent artists, Taner Ceylan makes hyperrealist paintings that bespeak absolute technical mastery and precision, but which are also freighted with an emotional and sexual dimension usually absent from the genre--qualities that have set him apart from the prevailing tendencies in contemporary Turkish art, and which at times have also brought him outright abuse in the press. Ceylan's paintings occupy a register somewhere between the mutely homoerotic (as in his portrait of a bloodied and perspiring boxer--possibly an allegory of the artist's own trials) and the overtly sexual (to enter his website "you must be at least 18 years of age" ). Curator Dan Cameron, who has championed the painter, orients him in a tradition of sexually explicit art stemming from Robert Mapplethorpe to Jeff Koons, but points out that the implicit argument of Celyan's work is "a romantic arguing for the wholesomeness of gay male sexuality."
Taner Ceylan was born in Germany in 1967. He studied at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Painting, from 1986 to 1991. Subsequently, he worked as the Graduate Teaching Assistant at Yeditepe University Fine Arts Faculty from 2001 to 2003; meanwhile he also worked as the Editor of the Arts Section of Time Out Istanbul magazine. Since 1991, Ceylan's works have been exhibited in numerous cities, including Istanbul, New York, Nuremberg and Luxemburg; and his work is held in public collections at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum and Scheringa Museum of Realist Art, Holland.