Abidin Dino

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The art world is known to feature great artists from different walks of life, there have been very few Ottoman artists who managed to make an impact and Abidin Dino was one of them. At the ripe age of 20 Dino founded the D Group of artists and six years later he founded the Liman Group. In short there was no end to what Dino couldn’t accomplish. The Turkish artist was one of Turkey’s best imports to the art world. Dino was considered to be one of the masters of the modern Turkish art world.  He was an active artist for 60 years, his collections ranging from sketches, paintings to murals. Dino’s works of art often depict the colorful and exciting life he lived, he was celebrated, exiled, acclaimed, rewarded, criticized – a never ending saga of his life which Dino became well known for apart from his art.

Abidin Dino was born on March 23, 1913 into a family of art lovers who were of Albanian descent. Encouraged by his family, Dino started drawing at a young age. His family moved around a lot during Dino’s peak childhood years, from Switzerland to Paris before settling back in Turkey. This exposure of different cultures and lifestyles would go on to play an important role in Dino’s artistic mind. Although he enrolled in school for his studies Dino quickly left that to pursue his artistic dreams. Apart from painting and drawing Dino also happened to be a very good writer. It is said Dino’s paintings were often included a fair bit of writing – where Dino was trying to explain what he had captured. Soon his articles and paintings both started gaining a name for him, it is then when he formed the D Group which was a bunch of young innovative artists trying to come up with new ideas of how to paint.  Soon he was invited by a leading Russian director to design set for his movies, Dino humbly obliged and went on to direct a small film titled Miners as well. Dino started walking in the same circles as influential politicians and artists like Ataturk, Picasso, and Gertrude Stein. It was during the turbulent times of World War II that Dino made various paintings of the conflict and those affected deeply by war. This didn’t go down very well with the then Turkish martial law commander who exiled Dino to the outskirts of Turkey. This of course didn’t stop Dino from painting. Soon he was painting subjects which showcased the hardships endured by rural civilians in Turkey. Dino’s paintings showing their hard lives and poor working conditions struck a chord with many people.

During his time in exile Dino wrote many plays and started sculpting as well. It was a return to Paris after his exile term was vetoed when Dino started painting more humorous and lively subjects. Dino’s strength as an artist was that he was able to capture the true meaning of the word ‘live’ by his brush, pencil and camera. Abidin Dino’s strongest inspirations for his paintings were love and solidarity.

Abidin Dino Paintings

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