Nothing is more rewarding than making a striking impact on society through creative work, as the celebrated digital artist Uğur Gallenkuş knows well. Highly skilled and passionate about his craft, Gallenkuş consistently uses his art to give voice to the unheard. Through great determination and unwavering commitment, the artist composes exceptional digital artworks that tug at the heartstrings of viewers from across the globe. Today, he is best known as the artist behind digital collages informed by global crises and social disparities, and he recently debuted his first artist’s book Parallel Universes of Children, published by Arzu Tunca, who is also the artist’s manager.
Born in 1990 in Niğde, Gallenkuş lives and works in Istanbul. He completed his primary and secondary education in Istanbul and, in 2013, received his degree from Anadolu University’s Department of Business Administration. After graduating, he took on various roles in the business sphere, including managing an e-commerce site for a private company. At the same time, he began making work about global realities, teaching himself the skills he needed to make compelling digital collages. Now a full-time artist, Gallenkus relentlessly hones his skills and studies the strategies and effects of photojournalism in his effort to continue to craft evocative, socially relevant images.
Gallenkuş’ collages conscientiously address the widening global divide between the privileged and oppressed, weaving together misery and mirth, wealth and poverty, and love and despair. One striking image sparked his artwork’s current trajectory. What started back in 2015 as a spontaneous reaction to the disturbing image of Aylan Kurdi — a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea — eventually grew into an ongoing series of brutally honest work. He clearly saw how to begin a unique conversation that brought two seemingly opposite realities together, and he felt it was his purpose to follow this vision. He continues to use moving photographs of humanitarian crises as source material for his collages, endeavoring to complicate, contextualize, and humanize such events through his work.
In a world defined by conflict and seemingly insurmountable injustices, Gallenkus aims to make a difference in how people understand the lives of others. His work, while aesthetically poignant, ultimately endeavors to help others by promoting meaningful advocacies.
Hope for a better world remains, as long as citizens of the world choose to embrace social responsibility and take an ethical stance. For this reason, Gallenkuş invites others to join him in speaking out against suffering caused by injustices and oppression.
“I would like to remind the residents of developed countries that people in underdeveloped countries live in pain, hunger, and war. I want to remind the people of underdeveloped countries that they deserve a better government, education, or science while assuring them that they have every right to be as strong and peaceful as those in developed countries,” Uğur Gallenkuş said.
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