Press Release August 2022


Media In A New Light: Darius Yektai


The last “Media Matters” suggested a new and expanded notion for “media,” namely SHAPE. Continuing this temporary diversion means giving “media” another dimension related to the visual arts: TEXTURE. Such exploration features two Spanish cities, Marbella and San Sabastian.

Marbella’s location on the Mediterranean Costa del Sol is a perfect place for Darius Yektai’s recent exhibit at the Sholeh Abghari Gallery. However, instead of the surrounding Mediterranean Sea as a background, we have the artist’s own real-life setting, the nearby ponds and fields of the Hamptons in Eastern Long Island. It’s curious to note that these subjects represent quite a departure from Mr. Yektai’s past endeavors. For example, this critic remembers several years ago when the artist’s figurative art was Expressionist in style and “mysterious” in tone, with a striking, yet often subtle, narrative to consider. Thus, the works showed compositional contrasts and dark colors, providing a stimulus to imagine the story or plot behind a particular piece.

Mr. Yektai’s present paintings are entirely different, at least on the surface. They are abstract for the most part, depicting nature, not as a mysterious subject but as a precise experience to be enjoyed. Yet there is one quality which is similar in all of Mr. Yektai’s pieces: the heartfelt feeling that is elicited when we see his works. In the past, we could connect with the implied narrative; in the present we bond with the place itself. Such a point is certainly relevant, since the spectator ( especially this critic ) is a person who may have actually been to the paintings’ locations.

Specifically considering texture, Mr. Yektai’s striking use of impasto ( paint thickly laid on an area ) reflects the generally strong emotions that we may feel about the environment. Simultaneously, however, there is also a surprising sense of contrasting emotions. Therefore, we may experience calm when looking at water lilies floating in a pond. We may also feel power and purpose when we see Mr. Yektai’s images executed with impasto.

While texture also plays an intriguing part in a recent exhibit at San Sabastian’s Museum of Contemporary Art ( MOCA ), it evokes opposing qualities like Mr. Yektai’s impasto. This time, small objects in a hanging installation are both potent ( shiny) and calming ( smooth ), reflecting the light which they emit. ( Some work by Mr. Yektai also reflect the water. ) This reflective mood is reinforced by the darkened room where the installation hangs, establishing a psychedelic mood. Adding to the piece’s texture are mirrors on the walls showing images of the spectators who observe the work. It’s as if they have become part of the installation’s material.

This definition of material certainly makes sense, reinforcing the idea that “media” also means the tools out of which art can be created.


Dr.Marion Wolberg Weiss