Nuray Turan

About the Artist

Nuray Turan was born in Aydin/Turkey in 1956 and grew up in Istanbul. During her childhood, her environment was mainly characterized by nature, art and folklore, which finally led to her passion for art. However – due to better career prospects – she decided in favor of a business study program at the Bosporus University Istanbul. In 1980, she moved to Germany and has since been living in Cologne. She afterwards signed up for further studies in marketing, design and fashion at different German universities.

In 1995, she began to engage intensively in painting. Being an autodidact, a foreign citizen in Germany and a woman, she had to cope with many challenges. But she never gave up and finally managed to open her first own exhibition in the Cologne district Lövenich in the year 2000, which was followed by various solo and group exhibitions as well as participations in international art fairs. In 2006, she opened her own gallery called “Atelier-Galerie NY TN” in Cologne, where she presented solo and group exhibitions with international artists between 2006 and 2011. In 2009, she organized the first “art bridge”, an intercultural exhibition as a bridge for bringing people together taking place once or twice a year.

Nuray Turan´s art is anything but monotonous – in her works, she always experiments with different materials, techniques and motifs. For her, mirrors are particularly important. On the one hand, she continuously explores the mirror as a painting surface; on the other hand, she observes the metaphorical level of the eyes as a window to the soul. From deep inside her works, the faces of veiled women appear whose eyes express a special intensity.

Despite her constant desire to discover and explore herself and her artwork anew, she keeps dealing with topics such as “oppression” and “violence” in her works and wants to encourage the viewers to reflect things critically.


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    untitled, 2013, 110 x 150 cm, mixed technique on canvas
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    Die Gefangenen und die Befreiten, 2006, 100 x 80 cm, Oil on canvas
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    untitled, 2008, 11 x 11 cm, Acrylic on cardboard
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014 ,30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    untitled, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    Love makes you blind, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    Love makes you bild 2, 2014, 30 x 30 cm, Acrylic on mirror
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    Female rival, 2008, 28,5 x 37,5 cm, oil on handmade paper
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    The unforgetful look, 2008, 107 x 144 cm, Mischtechnik auf Leinwand
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    Searching, 2005, 40 x 30 cm, mixed technique on canvas
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    untitled, 2012, 96 x 65 cm, mixed technique on handmade paper
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    Female heads, 2006, 57 x 38 cm, Acrylic on handmade paper
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    untitled, 2010, 10 x 10 cm, Acrylic on handmade paper

"About me"

Foremost, I perform art mainly because it soothes my soul.

The inspiration behind my paintings can be a drop of paint, a news story, a photograph, or a meaningful glance.  After I start a painting, I don’t feel comfortable until the vision in my head is reflected on canvas.

I am not looking for perfection in my paintings – I just want them to inspire feelings.  The harmony of colors, a mysterious smile or a striking glance, are the results I seek.  When I paint, I find myself in the middle of many thoughts.  These in­tense moments are sometimes good and at other times bad memories for me.  This is why I go through periods of different dominant colors (like a period of intensive red followed by blue and then green).

In nature, colors coexist wildly without any boundaries – I want my canvas to capture them the same way and without imposing any ‘academic’ limits.  All my paintings are unique – none of them are copies or are duplicated from models.  They are the fruits of my imagination and experiences.

In my country where I was born, children grow up surrounded by history and ancient times.  I grew up in Istanbul, where East meets the West.  This is why my paintings have subject matters ranging from an Anatolian woman to abstract scenes of New York.

My ultimate desire is for my pictures to provoke many thoughts in their viewers. 

Everyday we come across many distressing events in this world like wars, suicide bombings, natural disasters, human rights violations, murders, etc.  Unfortunately, I am not capable of stopping these tragedies.  But I can express my reaction by premising some of my paintings on these current and social episodes: “September 11”, “Slippery Ground”, “Humanity”, “Cry for Help”, etc…

I condemn all acts of terrorism and violence against all countries or religions.  My goal is to invite people who view my paintings at least to think about and discuss with others the problems I project.  This way, we can defeat our fears and free ourselves from our prejudices, thus preventing wrong and dangerous steps from being taken. 

Hoping for a better and more compassionate future world.


Nuray Turan


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