Horse & Acrobat, Penciled and Painted Scenes by Burak Dak

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Turkish artist Burak Dak creates scenes akin to Baroque portraits, but with the contorted bodies of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The flesh of his peculiar subjects—horses, acrobats, satyrs, and other odd creatures—is drawn in pencil, while he clothes them and their surroundings with paint. With rectangles and circles, he pairs patterns of floating fetuses, eggs, stones, ducks, flowers, and tribal masks. His scenes are carefully posed, and some of his subjects are to be revered, donned with halos or simply a solemn pose.

Dak’s characters are beautiful, funny, and sad. The acrobat ironically stands still, perhaps asleep with his hat drooping off his head, waiting for something. And a seagull stairs off to his right. The horse, too, is motionless, with one leg raised, looking downward. A man in baroque garb laughs at his amputated forearm, with blood splashing on an open book, as a rough-looking fish with legs walks around in front of him. The characters and objects are odd and surely symbolic, but of what, I do not know.

>> See more of Burak Dak’s work at


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