Who is Bayram Saltabaş (Bayro)?

Bayram Saltabaş, also known as Painter Bayro. He is a man with a brush in his hand and with his feelings in his heart, who has not given up on his art for years, has participated in many exhibitions at home and abroad, and has opened exhibitions under his own name. Let’s hear the life story of Painter Bayr, a father of 3 children and well-known in art circles with his modest personality, from his own words;
“I was born in Bayburt half a century ago. I have come to this age by taking a thousand steps of pain, experiencing happiness, and meeting love in one step of life. I experienced everything that should and should not be experienced, in a way that befits human dignity. I saw evil, I was patient, I saw pain, I was patient, I waited with hope. I laughed, I cheered, I was happy, I was happy.
It became an antidote to my pain. This must be a reward from God for what I have suffered. I don’t just suffer, all humanity suffers. I thank God for making me an artist. He gave me that feeling, that enthusiasm. He filled it with beauties and gave it to me to share with people. This is my duty. To explain beauty and love to beautiful humanity. To give people hope, to make people happy. I guess that’s why God sent me.
I have traveled, seen and experienced a large part of Turkey. I lived with everything. With happiness, pain, beauty. I painted Ataturk paintings in all the schools I worked at. I didn’t make it as a painting, in case they would tear it. I engraved it on the walls of every school I went to, as if embroidering on a hoop frame. I did my job and painted with the endless enthusiasm given by the great leader Atatürk.
I started with the neo-impressionist style. In the 67-68 years, the spots began to merge and turned into large spots. The impressionist style became more combative and turned into an expressionist style. Now objects and their essence began to interest me. Since the general is already one with its essence, I moved on to the essence of the other object without losing one of them. I’m currently in the expressionist style.
Red and orange are an expression of the passion and endless enthusiasm within me. This was reflected in my paintings while creating the collection. Red is my source of enthusiasm, it drives me crazy, and orange takes me to other worlds. Like an incorrigible, spoiled child, I enter red into the paintings like children do. I’m still like a child who hasn’t grown up yet. I have lived half a century, but a part of me still feels the enthusiasm of a child.
In 1991, I opened an exhibition at the State Fine Arts Gallery, where I exhibited my realistic paintings. Everyone there saw the same thing. They are actually my works that came out after I had a lot of emotions and was under a lot of pressure. In other words, a balance between death and life.
I wanted to explain that life is life, death is death, they actually have nothing to do with each other. Moreover, I call those paintings relative. That’s why I didn’t name it. But on an intellectual basis, they say I tell too much. However, I am addressing only one issue. Paintings like this come out once or twice a month. I can’t process another thought without finishing one. These days, I can portray my inner anger with horses. Nothing else comes out of me and my thoughts.
The pressure on men and women in our society, the need to make differences felt, sexuality and taboos, the depression of men and women, and the emergence of negatives, all describe my individual rebellion in that painting. This is a painting that I call my rebellion. If men and women in society are not liberated intellectually and in life, society cannot progress. There should be no pressure, everything starts with birth and there is no point in making female fertility a taboo or applying pressure.
I draw portraits, but not formally. When I work with models, their spiritual world and expressions are important to me. When I look at that structure, I transfer what I see to the painting. I don’t take his eyebrows or eyes, I take his very distinct features, the rest is what I see. The portrait of his inner world is important to me, the pros and cons are important, it is important to see, implement and reflect his thoughts.

Every piece that enters the collection is there because it is a work of art. If 2-3 out of 100 paintings are in the collection, it does not mean that the other 97 are worthless. They are all of the same value. The collector buys the paintings according to the reason he collects them. If it is nature, nature takes it, if the surrealist takes it. This does not mean that the rest are worthless. For them, it is important that the painter carries out his art sincerely. I say that even if they paid a million liras, I would not paint a second of my same paintings. This is an insincere understanding, the moment I do this I will break my brush.
In Turkey, those who want to be a doctor become an engineer, a teacher, or nothing at all. That’s why artists are in such a difficult situation. We are regimental, not schooled. We transfer our experiences to our paintings. But the platforms of this art do not give the painting the necessary value. We are self-taught.
For example, our only famous painter is Fikret Mualla. He became famous thanks to France. He lived there, he was hungry and thirsty, he sold a painting for a glass of wine, he was also a mocker, not a schoolboy. Because a man who has money, is very happy, and has never experienced or seen pain has no emotional color. If so, he is very talented. That’s why we don’t have any world-renowned painters other than him. When we attend exhibitions abroad, they are very surprised when they see that we know both Turkish and their language.
In their eyes, Türkiye is still Ottoman. Because the works of our painter they know only include his own period. And the people abroad who valued this painting only lived in the time of Fikret Mualla’s paintings. You attract a lot of attention because you are Turkish and keep up with the modern world. But for some reason, this line is still not given the value it deserves in Turkey.”

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