Known as one of Istanbul’s contemporary intellectuals, Bedri Baykam was born in Ankara. 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, to name a few. He studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris from 1975 to 1980 and received an MBA degree. During this time, he also studied drama in L’Actorat du Cinema in Paris. He lived in California during the years 1980-1987, where he studied painting and filmmaking at the California College of Arts and Crafts, in Oakland till 1984. He had several shows in New York, California and Paris during those Californian years. He returned to Turkey in 1987 and has been living in Istanbul since.
Having worked in many mediums, including painting, collage and performance, Baykam has turned in his new “4-D” works to “lenticular” technology. Familiar from postcards and even billboards, it allows him to incorporate time into his narrative tableaux: using computer software, he layers imagery in such a way that a parallax shift occurs, causing illusions of depth and motion as the viewer moves from one position to another. In the 1980’s, Baykam juxtaposed elements of painting and collage in continuous surfaces; now he is able to float images on top of each other. If modernist painting affirmed the support’s two-dimensionality, these kinetic pictures are indeed postmodern.
He was presented for the first time in London by Lahd Gallery in An Istanbul Legacy in 2011 together with Turkish artists Guido Casaretto and Ugur Caki. He also writes for the daily Cumhuriyet, and several different art magazines. He is one of the central characters of the Turkish intellectual milieu.