Sculptor, puppeteer, painter, and physics engineer İskender Giray, who is inspired by anamorphic art movement, designs metallic sculptors that host shadow plays. The greatest feature of these sculptures is that when the lights are off, their shadows turn into very different images with the help of a special balance of light and reflection. His works reflect a different kind of magic in their shadows. Such as the goddess of justice Themis, another work by him named Life=Water that is going to be exhibited at Contemporary İstanbul, and his plane tree sculpture that he has been making for Beşiktaş Sports Club as a prototype.

It is never too late to follow your dreams. We believe that sculptor, puppeteer, painter, and physics engineer İskender Giray’s story is going to inspire many people. We visited him in his workshop at Kadıköy, Moda. He graduated from İstanbul Technical University Physics Engineering Department. His passion for art began during his childhood years. He spent his childhood in workshops. He paints since he was eight and tries to turn every supply that he gets his hands on into 3D objects. Explaining that his father, uncle, and grandfather were carpenters, İskender Giray said, “My father used to be a carpenter but later on he became a legist. The necessity of having a real occupation was instilled into my mind as a child who had grown up in a civil servant family. I have always been good in math and physics. Studying physics became a factor that developed my life view and assisted me to find healthier connections between the cause and effect relations. However, after graduation I realized that plaza life and business world were not for me. I had forced myself for three and a half years. I had been graduated from a prestigious university, and had started to work. Yet, there was still a problem with the equation. My job was not making me happy. I had come to a milestone. I chose art.”

Takes advantage of his physics experience
Tending towards puppetry in 2006, İskender Giray continues, “Puppetry was a great field to improve myself in modeling. Later, I have jumped to figurative works from puppetry. I am concentrating in anamorphic art movement now. I am using my physics experience in this field. I work heavily with metal or plastic supplies. I like iron the most among metals. To me, oxidization of iron is the indicator of that it breathes and it lives. I also have bronze works.”

Designing a special anamorphic work prototype for Beşiktaş Sports Club, Giray says, “I designed a plane tree that has grown against the wind to reflect the opposing stance of Beşiktaş. It is being made for its 111th year. The tree has 111 branches resembling the 111 years. There are 110 leaves to present 110 cups won. 31 load-bearing branches reflect the 31 management changes. If we come to an agreement, I am also going to design a bronze sculpture. A portrait of Atatürk is hidden between the branches. The shadow of the Beşiktaş tree is going to transform into a different image in the evenings. An eagle that tries to pick up the cup is going to appear. This type of work is matchless around the world. As soon as, the prototype is approved and a suitable location is found for its exhibition, I am going to start working on the 5-8 meters tall sculpture. The shadow of the sculpture is going to have a 15 meters of wingspan.”

Shape shifters exhibit
All of his works inspired by different shadow illusions, Giray says, “I am inspired by themes with shadows and different angles in my anamorphic works. I am going to make kinetics involve in it, too. Each time, I plan a different goal for myself. I am working on my project named LEW in other words Life=Water that is going to be exhibited in Contemporary İstanbul. In this work, light and sculpture are going to be fixed but its shadow is going to be mobile. A breathing woman’s body is going to be observed. I am going to be preparing for my own exhibition in the forthcoming period. There will be 7 or 8 sculptures. Making a sculpture takes minimum one month. I am going to be ready for my exhibition next summer. The concept of my exhibition is going to be ‘shape shifters.’ I am nurtured by the transformations in observations and try to describe these observations through a different language. Light is necessary for a wide range of my works; therefore, I am going to need large walls and spaces that can be darken. I also have street works. When I see an empty spot in my neighborhood, I want to fill it. There used to be an empty spot in Moda that I used to keep passing in front of it for years. A tree should have been planted there. So, I made a sculpture named ‘Mourning for a Tree’ to place there. I have two street sculptures and one street painting.”