Uğur Gallenkuş is a digital artist, based in Istanbul. His collages captured worldwide attention by accentuating the widening global divide between privileged and oppressed, blending together misery and mirth, wealth and woe, love and sorrow. By providing an unflinching look at the realities surrounding us, he stepped on the path towards making the difference.
In 2015, the image of a drowned Syrian boy gripped the planet’s attention, giving a human face to the conflict which drove away so many people towards an uncertain fate. Turkey felt the full weight of human suffering, giving shelter to more than three and a half million refugees. Uğur Gallenkuş, an ordinary citizen living in Istanbul felt the need to act, to help, to make a difference: and he did it the best way he could – through his unique blend of expression. Today, the world knows Uğur as the artist behind the stories told through his digital collages. In reality, he is a business-school graduate leading an ordinary life when tragedy struck in Syria. He knew nothing about digital art, but he started learning about design programs from online sources. A white-collar worker by day turned into a self-taught digital artist by night. In fact, after all the success that happened, he still leads a simple life, working his daily job. He cannot explain what brought his artistic side so suddenly to the spotlight – everything happened as if by divine design, but nowadays his Instagram account has nearly 1 million followers and an average of 50k likes per post. He felt a purpose that could not be denied and saw how to start a unique conversation between two seemingly completely opposite scenes, and using Instagram as a tool to give his digital art visibility, he created an audience for himself that is absolutely engaged with his artworks and with his words.
Follow Uğur Gallenkuş on Instagram@ugurgallen