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1973, İstanbul. Lives in İstanbul.

It was Özkaya’s desire to experience Michelangelo’s statue of David first hand, a work of art that he refers to as ‘the most precious man made object’ that motivated him to make the ultimate copy, a larger than life replica of the original. Özkaya has only ever encountered tourist-bought ornaments and a range of two-dimensional reproductions of David. This situation lead him to propose that ‘such iconic works no longer exist in reality as originals, they have become verbal legends, all about the replicas, the copies, the reconstructions and the fakes.’
In order to realise a David for the Biennial, Özkaya contacted Professor Marc Levoy, one of the pioneers of the 3D facsimile. This invention was originally envisioned as a household appliance, to make possible the faxing of objects from one place to another. To produce such a product for domestic use proved too expensive, but, Levoy needed to quench his desire to utilise the machine and because the most appropriate thing to fax proved to be a sculpture, he travelled to Florence and scanned Michelangelo’s statue of David.
Using Levoy’s 3D facsimile, Özkaya has produced his own David, standing at several times the height of the original and painted gold. He says ‘I am not interested in absolute beauty, but in the beautiful as an ugly memento’ and that ‘even if you don’t know this work is in the form of Michelangelo’s David, your body and eye will know it is something beautiful and for a moment this recognition will cause time to stand still.’
Tragically, the sculpture was destroyed during the installation. This photograph was taken some minutes before the accident.

November Paynter


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