Taksim Square - Istanbul
05 November 1999
“Let’s paint a hero of cinematic proportions, the stuff of legends, the type of story one might think a little far-fetched had it not actually happened. Add the passion of Van Gogh, the modernity of Andy Warhol and the energy of Rolf Harris, raise a glass and look into those blue eyes. Then wish in the possibility of that familiar stern profile gently cracking to the beginnings of a smile. We can all dream; he did and a nation was born: dreams are what the real stuff’s made of!”
The Marmara invited NPP to exhibit portraits of Ataturk to coincide with 10 November, the anniversary of Ataturk’s death (1881–1938). 12 portraits were displayed depicting an age range from Young Turk to mature statesman.
Ataturk’s image symbolises a vision of the secular system, national unity, education, art, science and liberty for both man and womankind alike; a global vision embracing new ideas and innovations for the betterment of his people and country.
Ataturk was very aware of his public profile and veered toward a serious image portraying his serious intentions. Occasionally though, he did and we can, enjoy a smile.