Turkish Eye

Poured acrylic paint on tondo canvas

1000 x 1000 mm


Playing on the relationship between his surname and the country Turkey, Evil Eye is an appropriation of a national Turkish talisman. A coloured glass ornament the size of a pendant, the Turkish evil eye is based on the superstition that it can be used to deflect negative feelings, especially those of jealousy – the colour blue being representative of evil for this brown-eyed nation. The premise of the evil eye is based on a belief in the power of the gaze. As if simply looking or being looked at could irreversibly change a person’s fortune. It implies the uneasy relationship between the subject (the eye) and the object (the eyed). Except in this painting by Turk, the object is the eye and the subject the viewer, bringing into question, who is cursing who? Made with pouring paint, rather than glass, the symbol of the evil eye also looks like a Pop Art target, which could be taken to reverse the evil eye’s meaning.