30 Oct 2017
Ara Guler. The Eye of Istanbul and Street Photography
In 1958, the American magazine company Time–Life opened a branch in Turkey, and Güler became its first correspondent for the Near East. Soon he received commissions from Paris Match, Stern, and The Sunday Times in London. After completing his military service in 1961, Güler was employed by the Turkish magazine Hayat as head of its photographic department.
In the 1960s, Güler's photographs were used to illustrate books by notable authors and were displayed at various exhibitions throughout the world. His works were exhibited in 1968 in 10 Masters of Color Photography at the New York Museum of Modern Art and at Photokina Fair in Cologne, Germany. His book Türkei was published in Germany in 1970.
His photos on art and art history were used in Time, Life, Horizon and Newsweek and publications of Skira of Switzerland.
Güler attaches the greatest importance to human presence in his photographs and describes himself as a "visual historian". "When I'm taking a picture of Aya Sofia, what counts is the person passing by who stands for life", he said. He believes that photography should provide a memory of people, of their lives and especially their suffering. While he considers that art lies, he believes that photography can only reflect reality. He embraces the identity of a photojournalist because he does not attach much value to photography as an artistic pursuit, which to him would have little value. He does not consider photography to be an art.
Quotes by Ara Guler
“When I’m taking a picture of Aya Sofia, what counts is the person passing by who stands for life”
“Istanbul became my subject because I was born here, grew up here and I know this place intimately.”