Rainbow Visions: Instagram Photographer Yener Torun Transforms Istanbul With Kaleidoscopic Photographs

Pat Finn Pat Finn

Previously on Architizer, we have discussed photorealism, a genre of painting that aspires to the uncanny illusionism of photographs. There is a converse to this, of course: photos that capture scenes of such boldness and clarity one would think they were looking at a painting.

Instagrammer Yener Torun is an expert in such photographs. He prefers bold colors and clean surfaces to the sepia ambience that is so popular on Instagram thanks to the ubiquity of filters. His photos feature buildings, balloons, umbrellas and other everyday subjects, always in vibrant colors and often set against a clear blue sky. He’s a master of color theory, and the blue skies in his photos always “pop.”

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Torun’s palette is reminiscent of David Hockney, a British painter who moved to Los Angeles and was inspired to create a series of paintings that used bold colors to depict the strange combination of vividness and placidity that characterizes life in California mansions.

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Like Hockney, most of Torun’s compositions flatten space, emphasizing line and color over depth and shadow. In addition, both artists’ work is deeply tied to a sense of place. The bulk of Torun’s photographs are taken around the artist’s native Istanbul, a city known for sunlight and geometric Ottoman architecture. The city streets offer a wealth of colors and patterns for Torun to play with. However, Torun is careful to point out that the vision of Istanbul his photos offer is highly idiosyncratic.

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“What I show is completely different to Istanbul in general,” explained Torun in an interview with It’s Nice That. “Think of the Istanbul images you have seen before; most are taken in historical places or around the Bosphorus, and I like them, too, but what I want to find and show is completely different. Even long-term residents of Istanbul can’t believe that my pictures are of the city they live in.”

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Although Torun has said that he doesn’t think of himself as an “architectural photographer,” most of his work features architectural elements. His originality lies in his ability to abstract these elements from their original environment to create compositions that are totally new.

Cover image via WeTransfer

Pat Finn Author: Pat Finn
Pat Finn is a high school English teacher and a freelance writer on art, architecture, and film. He believes, with Orwell, that "good prose is like a windowpane," but his study of architecture has shown him that a window is only as good as the landscape it looks out on. Pat is based in the New York metro area.
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