Bedri Baykam  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bedri Baykam (born Ankara, 1957) is an internationally acclaimed Turkish artist and intellectual, best known for his school of resentment book "Monkeys' Right to Paint".


His father Dr. Suphi Baykam was a famous deputy in the Turkish parliament and his mother Mutahhar Baykam an architect-engineer. He started to paint when he was only two years old, and has had several exhibitions since the age of six in Bern, Geneva, New York, Washington, London, Rome, Munich, Stockholm, etc. during his childhood years, when he was known as a child prodigy, (wunderkind) throughout the world. Baykam also obtained many prestigious placaments as a tennis player throughout the 70s at Turkey Championships.

He studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris from 1975 to 1980 and got an MBA degree. During this time, he also studied drama in L'Actorat, Paris. He lived in California during the years 1980-1987, studied painting and film-making at the California College of Arts and Crafts, in Oakland. He had several shows in New York, California and Paris. He returned to Turkey in 1987 and has been living in Istanbul since.

He has had 97 one-man-shows in various countries in addition to participating in numerous group shows. To date, he authored eighteen books, five of which were on art (one in English), and eleven on politics. One of his most well-known books, "Monkeys' Right to Paint" published in Turkish and English, brings to light the rights of non western artists and severely criticizes the one sided prejudiced attitude of the western art establishment that keeps building a one sided, all western art-history. Baykam is also the writer of a controversial bestseller "The Bone", published in december 2000. A turn of the Century novel around sex, death, philosophy new sciences, technology and spying, "The Bone" predicted the events of september 11, 10 months before it happened in all its details! "The Bone" has been published english in 2005.

Baykam is one of the pioneers of the New-Expressionism movement and of multi-media and photo-painting oriented political art. Since the beginning of the 80's. He directed several 16 mm. short films and has acted in several parts in feature films in Turkey as an actor. He is the author of 20 published books.

He is working actively for some associations, such as "The Association for Supporting the Contemporary Living" and "The Association for Atatürk's Thoughts". He is also one of the founders of UNESCO-AIAP-IAA International Association of artists Turkish National Committee. Between 1995 and 1998, he was an elected member of the Party Assembly of the Social Democrat "Republican People's Party" (CHP).(Turkey's leading leftist Party ) Baykam was also a candidate for the Presidency of this Party in October 2003, at the General Congress in Ankara. He is one of the most outspoken defenders of the secular "Kemalist" republic and of democracy and human rights. Baykam who the founded and directed the monthly art magazine Skala between 2000 and 2002, also writes for the daily Cumhuriyet, and several different art and political magazines. He is one of the central characters of the Turkish intellectual and political milieu, heading actually the "Patriotic Movement". ([1])

Baykam is the founder of the film production and publishing company Piramid and Piramid Art Center ([2]) both based in Istanbul. He married journalist Sibel (Yagci) Baykam in May 1997, and they had Suphi, their son, in January 1999

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