Selma Gürbüz, the painter of nature and mysterious creatures, is engraved in our minds with her works that seem to come from the land of fairy tales and myths. We examined Selma Gürbüz, who we lost in 2021, from her life to her understanding of art, from her works to her exhibitions.

Who is Selma Gürbüz?
Selma Gürbüz, who transports her audience to the land of fairy tales and myths and leaves a mark on Turkish contemporary art with her timeless works, is an artist who has packed a lot of success into a not-so-long life of 61 years. We know Selma Gürbüz closely, who has organized nearly 50 exhibitions and works in different disciplines of art, from painting to sculpture, from weaving to engraving.

Life of Selma Gürbüz:
Born in Istanbul in 1960, Selma Gürbüz devoted herself to learning the universal language of art through an international education. In 1978, she studied art at Exeter College in England, majoring in painting, photography and theater. Between 1980 and 1982, she studied painting and sculpture at Exeter College of Art Design. Even though she received an art education based in England, we can see traces of the land where Selma Gürbüz was born and raised in her works. In the 1980s, she continued her education at Marmara University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Painting.

Selma Gürbüz's First Exhibition:
Women, nature and living creatures are at the center of the image world that Selma Gürbüz, who organized her first solo exhibition at Urart Art Gallery in 1986 when she was only 26 years old, has built since then.

What is the basis of Selma Gürbüz's works?
Selma Gürbüz, who can be called the narrator of nature, animals and mysterious creatures, repeatedly shares that her works reflect the effects of the myths, tales, imagination and personal experiences she has had. The subconscious reflected in his works literally flows and mixes with our subconscious as the viewer.

Selma Gürbüz and Cave Paintings:
Images resembling cave paintings can be seen in Selma Gürbüz's paintings. She examines the memorable examples of cultural history with inexhaustible curiosity and creates an atlas of images that the audience can relate to as soon as they look at them.

Selma Gürbüz's Concept of Art:
Selma Gürbüz developed and multiplied her unique painting language, which she simplified by eliminating unnecessary elements and excesses, by using it in different disciplines of visual arts over time. Inspired by many cultures such as Anatolian stories, Eastern and Western mythologies, Ottoman and Turkish arts, shamanism narratives, Iranian miniatures, Japanese woodblock prints, the artist created fairytale-like landscapes, sea creatures, patterns and masterfully crafted, fascinating figures.

Works of Selma Gürbüz:
Selma Gürbüz has never been an artist who could be satisfied with a single branch of art. He produced works in completely different disciplines, from painting to sculpture, from weaving to engraving. He even undertook the stage design of the play "Edebi Kahveler (Cafés Littéraires)", which was performed in 2004.

Book "Three Articles for Selma Gürbüz":
Selma Gürbüz also inspired the book "Three Writings for Selma Gürbüz" by Ferit Edgü in 2013. In his book, Ferit Edgü defines Gürbüz as "an artist unlike any of his contemporaries" and says that we should look for similar works of his "not today, but in the very distant past". Edgü also shared his thoughts about Gürbüz's art: "Selma creates a world of its own, or rather, it should be called an ethnography, mythology and legend of its own. The creatures it carries from the darkness of the Middle Ages perform their shamanic dances on the fur of modernity. And that's all they are." "It's a shamanic celebration that I find myself thinking I'm wrong and that they come from the future rather than the past."

Selma Gürbüz, One of the World's Best Selling Artists:
Selma Gürbüz ranked 425th in the list of the top 500 contemporary artists who created best-selling works in the world in 2016, according to Artprice, a French-based online art price database platform. According to Artprice statement; "The artist's works have been put up for sale at auction 179 times, mostly in the painting category. The oldest auction registered on our site is for the work "Woman with a Cat" (Painting), which was offered for sale at Sotheby's in 1996, and the newest is "African Still Life" (Pattern), which was offered for sale in 2024. "According to 2023 data, he ranks 2503rd among the top 5000 best-selling artists in the world at auction. The artist's works are mainly sold in Turkey."

Death of Selma Gürbüz:
Selma Gürbüz unfortunately passed away in Istanbul on April 22, 2021, at the age of 61, after contracting Covid while she was receiving cancer treatment for a while. Even though he lived a relatively short life, it is possible to see Gürbüz's rich imagination and diversity of images by looking at the great knowledge he left behind.