April 19th, 2018
What is Contemporary Art?
Strictly speaking, the term "contemporary art" refers to art made and produced by artists living today. Today's artists work in and respond to a global environment that is culturally diverse, technologically advancing, and multifaceted.
What are the themes of contemporary art?
Working in a wide range of mediums, contemporary artists often reflect and comment on modern-day society. When engaging with contemporary art, viewers are challenged to set aside questions such as, "Is a work of art good?" or "Is the work aesthetically pleasing?" Instead, viewers consider whether art is "challenging" or "interesting." Contemporary artists may question traditional ideas of how art is defined, what constitutes art, and how art is made, while creating a dialogue with—and in some cases rejecting—the styles and movements that came before them.
Contemporary Art And Its Tendency For Abstraction
Since the early 20th century, some artists have turned away from realistic representation and the depiction of the human figure, and have moved increasingly towards abstraction. In New York City after World War II, the art world coined the term "abstract expressionism" to characterize an art movement that was neither completely abstract, nor expressionistic. Nevertheless, the movement challenged artists to place more emphasis on the process of making art rather than the final product. Artists like Jackson Pollock brought art-making to choreographic heights by dripping paint in grand yet spontaneous gestures. As one critic noted, the canvas was an arena in which to act—"what was going on in the canvas was not a picture but an event." This notion of art as an event emerged out of the movement called abstract expressionism, which greatly influenced the art movements that followed, and continues to inspire artists living today.
Contemporary Art and Artistic Minimalism
Contemporary artists working within the postmodern movement reject the concept of mainstream art and embrace the notion of "artistic pluralism," the acceptance of a variety of artistic intentions and styles. Whether influenced by or grounded in performance art, pop art, Minimalism, conceptual art, or video, contemporary artists pull from an infinite variety of materials, sources, and styles to create art.
CATF and Contemporary Art
CATF and its panel of incredibly talented artists work hard to bring forth the best of contemporary art in multiple mediums, styles, strokes and hues.
Visit our website today to check out our artworks.
March 26th, 2018
Dubai’s Tallest Skyline
All you have to do is approach Dubai from the desert and you’ll come across the mightily photogenic skyline of Dubai with its gleaming skyscrapers shimmering like a mirage. Dubai’s architectural achievements symbolize the emirate’s arrival as a great commercial center and a modern city.
Dubai now has the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa at 828m); the tallest hotel (the JW Marriott Marquis at 355m) and the tallest residential building (the Princess Tower at 413m).
It also has the greatest number of buildings standing at over 300m—18 in all, with 10 in construction—and that makes its skyline taller than Manhattan’s or Hong Kong’s or Chicago’s.
The Aesthetic Appeal of Dubai’s Skyline
However, Dubai doesn’t merely stand tall in the height contest. The design and appearance of its skyline provide an aesthetic aura that conjures up something quite distinctive to Dubai and exciting about the Arabian Gulf.
Many of Dubai’s skyscrapers are adorned with variants of traditional Arabic design, such as the mashrabiya, a screen for shade and for privacy, while others have distinctive geometric properties.
CATF and Dubai Skyline
CATF has captured this distinctively aesthetic aura of Dubai’s skyline in its various artworks. Our artworks portray one of the world’s architectural wonders in all its majestic glory in a splurge of colors and strokes.
Visit our gallery today to check these out.
March 21st, 2018
What is a Zellige?
Zellige is mosaic tilework made from individually chiseled geometric tiles set into a plaster base. This form of Islamic art is one of the main characteristics of Moroccan architecture. It consists of geometrically patterned mosaics, used to ornament walls, ceilings, fountains, floors, pools and tables.
Where did Zellige originate from?
The Moorish art of zellige flourished during the Hispano-Moresque period of the Maghreb and the area known as Al-Andalus (modern day Spain) between 711-1492. The technique was highly developed during the Nasrid dynasty and Merinid dynasty who gave it more importance around the 14th century and introduced blue, green and yellow colours. Red was added in the 17th century. The old enamels with the natural colours were used until the beginning of the 20th century and the colours had probably not evolved much since the period of Merinids. The cities of Fes and Meknes in Morocco, remain the centers of this art.
Zellige and Islamic history
Patrons of the art used zellige historically to decorate their homes as a statement of luxury and the sophistication of the inhabitants. Zellige is typically a series of patterns utilizing colourful geometric patterns. This framework of expression arose from the need of Islamic artists to create spatial decorations that avoided depictions of living things, consistent with the teachings of Islamic law.
Evolution of Zellige
As the colour palette of the zellige tiles increased over the centuries, it became possible to multiply the compositions ad infinitum. The most current form of the zellige is a square. Other forms are possible: the octagon combined with a cabochon, a star, a cross, etc. It is then moulded with a thickness of approximately 2 centimetres. There are simple squares of 10 by 10 centimeters or with the corners cut to be combined with a coloured cabochon. To pave an area, bejmat, a paving stone of 15 by 5 centimetres approximately and 2 centimetres thick, can also be used.
Zellige and CATF
CATF has depicted this ancient and rich form of Islamic art in its deluxe paintings. Check out zellige in all its magnificence today at 1-catf.pixels.com
March 7th, 2018
Many people have a love/hate relationship with the ever-bustling (Istiklal Street or Istiklal Avenue – İstiklal Caddesi in Turkish) that runs from Taksim Square nearly all the way to the landmark Galata Tower. Although it is the beating heart of the city, the three million people that pass it every day, can make it rather challenging to traverse. Yet it serves as a microcosm of Istanbul itself and although chains and fast food joints are starting to edge out the more old fashioned shops, there’s still traces of old Istanbul here.
Why is Istiklal Street So Popular?
Aside from the obvious Istiklal Street shopping opportunities, there are many other Istiklal Street attractions. For instance, its historic cinemas (like Atlas, Beyoglu), historical passages (like Hazzopulo, Suriye and Çiçek), churches (St Antoine, Santa Maria), consulate buildings, and innovative art galleries (SALT Beyoğlu, ARTER and the Mısır Apartments), as well as stunning examples of 19th century Neo Classical and Art Nouveau architecture to admire.
Istiklal Street- From the Caliphate to the Republic
Known as the Cadde-i Kebir (Grand Avenue) during the Ottoman period, when it attracted an intellectual crowd, it later became the place to stroll for the French Levantines, who knew it as the Grand Rue de Pera. It became İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Street) following the creation of the Republic of Turkey.
CATF and Istiklal Street
CATF has portrayed Istiklal Avenue in all its bustling glory in multiple artworks. These paintings depict the avenue’s historical significance as well as its contemporary vitality in a fresh concoction of colors and strokes.
Visit our gallery today to revivify your appetite for aestheticism with these astounding artworks.
March 7th, 2018
( Bibliographic Source: Peter Somer Travels)
From shadow puppetry to wandering minstrels, village dances to Ottoman military music, folk traditions pervade all areas and levels of Turkish life. Here’s a very brief introduction to a rich cultural legacy that stretches back hundreds of years.
Each region in Turkey has its own special folk dances and costumes. Here are some of the most popular.
“Horon” – This Black Sea dance is performed by men only, dressed in black with silver trimmings. The dancers link arms and quiver to the vibrations of the “kemence” (a primitive kind of violin).
“Kasik Oyunu” – The Spoon Dance is performed from Konya to Silifke and consists of gaily dressed male and female dancers ‘clicking’ out the dance rhythm with a pair of wooden spoons in each hand.
‘’Kilic Kalkan” – The Sword and Shield Dance of Bursa represents the Ottoman conquest of the city. It is performed by men only, in Ottoman battle-dress, who dance to the sound of clashing swords and shields, without music.
“ Zeybek” – In this Aegean dance colourful male dancers, called “efe”, symbolize courage and heroism.
Lively Turkish folk music, which originated on the steppes of Central Asia, marks a complete contrast to the refined Turkish classical music of the Ottoman court. Until recently folk music was generally not written down, instead the traditions have been kept alive for generations by “asiklar” (troubadours and storyteller poets – in the same way that many ancient Greek myths survived until written up by Homer etc.)
Distinct from folk music is the old Ottoman military music, now performed by the “mehter takimi’’ (Janissary Band) in Istanbul, which beats out the rhythm of war, and is played with kettle drums, clarinets, cymbals, and bells. The mystical music of the Whirling Dervishes (“Mevleviler”) is dominated by the haunting reed pipe or “ney”, and can be heard in Konya during the Mevlana Festival in December.
CATF and Turkish Folk Culture
CATF has portrayed Turkey’s folk culture in all its vibrant colors in multiple artworks. These artworks stand out owing to their fresh assemblage of colors, strokes and hues conjugated with their traditional ambiance.
Visit our gallery today to check out Turkish Folk Culture as depicted in CATF’s paintings.
February 12th, 2018
Seen from a distance you might think that it’s just a tower, a little tower at that. Located 35 meters above sea level with its nine floors, the tower is 67 metres high. Built in 1348 It was destroyed, rebuilt, restored, decorated with a dome and here it stands a magnificent vantage point across the city and Bosphorus. There are thousands of stories about the tower. The legend goes that a man named Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi built himself golden eagle wings and sprang from the tower, gliding all the way to Üsküdar on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. According to the legend his brother did the trip in reverse in a rocket filled with gunpowder. Eminent university researchers have tried to demonstrate the
impossibility of these flights but the legend lives on.
After the Republic, Galata Tower was restored and opened to the public in 1967. The tower houses a cafeteria on top, there was also a night club which is closed down after the last restoration in 2013. A couple of elevators will take you up but there are still three more floors to climb by stairs to get on the panoramic terrace which is 52 meters above the ground. A small souvenir shop is located inside the tower just across the ticket office at the entrance level.
CATF has revoked the majestic splendor of this tower in its paintings with incarnate the intricate history associated with the tower as well as its stately architecture.
Visit our gallery today to check out these paintings at
February 12th, 2018
As man-made monuments go, the Hagia Sophia is one of the world’s most distinguished. The imposing, 1,480-year-old building in the heart of Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district stood for almost 1,000 years as an ornate cathedral, a place where Byzantine emperors came to be crowned.
After Mehmed the Conqueror’s Muslim army breached the city walls in 1453, it was converted into an imperial mosque, and served as pride of place under Ottoman rule for almost five centuries thereafter.
The building was later secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture". It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.
CATF has depicted the exterior of Hagia Sophia in all its glory in its artworks. The awestruck magnanimity of its architecture is portrayed in these paintings which give the onlooker a glimpse of its rich splendor.
Visit our gallery today at
January 21st, 2018
Our weekly contest winner, Miro Gradinscak, shares his story of art.
We asked Miro where he hailed from and what triggered his interest in art.
Here is what Miro said,
Hey, My name is Miro Gradinscak and I come from Croatia, a small country in Europe. I'm a textile designer and drawing is my hobby. I'm a self-taught artist and I have been drawing from an early age. However, for various reasons I haven’t been able to draw since last few years, but I'm glad that I started again.
We then asked him what served as his inspiration and muse.
My father loved to paint. I would sit next to him and watch him work all day long. Gradually, I realized I had fallen in love with art as well. As I stated earlier, I had started to draw very early, when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I was drawing all sorts of things particularly cowboys and Indians. In high school, I saw a great drawing of some famous singer and that played a significant role in my decision to do portraits. I love animals and lately I have been drawing them quite often.
When asked about the particular areas and media that he liked to work upon and with, Miro replied that,
I'm obsessed with graphite and this is the medium with which I love to work most. Of course, I like painting too. A few years ago I tried to do something in this medium, but I wasn't satisfied. It didn't look realistic enough and that's why I gave up. I'm very self-critical.
We asked Miro where he saw himself after a couple of years down this road. This is what he said,
I will certainly continue to draw and I want to show it. My wish is that more people get to see my artwork and I hope I will have a solo exhibition soon.
Finally, we asked Miro if he wanted to leave a message for other aspiring artists out there,
Well, I don't have any particular message...or maybe...a few days ago I saw an interesting post on Facebook...'Don't compare your work to others, compare your new work to the old'.
To find more about our contests and Miro, check out our website today.
January 14th, 2018
Our weekly contest winner, Jim Schultz , shares his journey of art
• Jim, when and why did you get interested in art?
I am a part-time artist who has always loved drawing. I also work as an engineer for NASA. Several of my drawings are selfies of astronauts out on space walks. I love to draw realistic graphite pencil drawings of people, animals, and scenery. My goal is to make my drawings look like photographs. I am self-taught and most of my drawing techniques have come through trial and error. You can see my work at https://1-james-schultz.pixels.com/
• What triggered your interest in art or served as your inspiration?
I have loved drawing as long as I can remember. I have always been awed by the great artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and others and love their realistic art. To me, that takes real talent.
My family, friends, and teachers have always encouraged me to draw and one of my coworkers convinced me to put my artwork out on art websites so others could see it.
The world is full of awesome beauty and I try to capture a snap shot of that on paper using graphite pencils. Being an engineer, I always want to understand how things work which I believe helps me create more realistic drawings.
• Jim, are there any particular areas that you like to work upon?
I’m always looking for new techniques to make my drawings look like photographs. Over the years I have learned a lot of techniques for drawing different things such as hair, fur, skin, eyes, etc. to make them look more realistic. I’m always looking for ways to improve and welcome any suggestions or techniques others have learned.
• Where do you see yourself in future as an artist?
I plan to keep on drawing in my free time. I always look for new challenging things to draw and bring to life. My passion is to be a full-time artist.
• If you had to give a message to all aspiring artists out there, what would that be?
Art is like the seed of a fruit tree. If the seed is nurtured and tended it will produce beautiful blossoms and fruit for the world to see, enjoy, and cherish. If it is put in a box and ignored, the world will ever know what beauty they have never seen.
To get to know more about our contests and more about Jim, check out our website today at
January 7th, 2018
Arab culture and passion for horses go hand in hand. According to ancient legend, the Arabian horse was born of a handful of the south wind and virtue is bound into the hair of its forelock, its master is its friend and he has been given the power of flight without wings.
The preoccupation with the horse is a thread traceable through the fabric of Arab society for five millennia. Once high profile in the social landscape of nomadic tribes in the Fertile Crescent, the horse has become far less a part of daily life but is nonetheless nurtured and loved in stables throughout the Kingdom.
Characteristics of Arabian Horse
* There are several characteristics that set the Arabian horse apart from other breeds, the most noticeable being the face. The Arabian’s head has a characteristic dished profile with a prominent eye, large nostrils and small muzzle.
*There is also religious significance in the Arabian’s features; the large forehead is said to hold the blessings of Allah; the high tail carriage was symbolic of pride and the arched neck and high crest signified courage.
* The Arabian’s broad chest, short, but strong back, and sloped shoulders give him power and ‘floaty’ gaits. Arabians have also become the breed of choice in the endurance racing world because of their stamina and agility.
* They are well-known for being affectionate and bonding well with humans and it is this particular characteristic that supports a discreet but invaluable therapeutic use for the ancient breed.
Arab Culture and Horse Racing
This love for horses is also reflected in Middle East’s fervent patronage for horse racing. Interest in horse racing may wax and wane in other parts of the world, but no place can match the racy and sustained passion for the sport which is found in the Middle East.
CATF and Horse Races
CATF has portrayed this very ardor in its artworks which stand out because of their impressionistic yet simultaneously realistic depictions of this sport. Check out our gallery today to savor Arabian horses in all their glory.