Metin Özlen developed new techniques in the art of Karagöz. From an early age he achieved a lot of success, participated in the newspaper as a caricaturist and painter. His ability to portray had also impressed his family, and he accepted their input. Here is the life of artist Metin Özlen from Karagöz…
WHO IS METİN ÖZLEN?
Özlen was born on April 3, 1940 in Kanlıca, Istanbul. His mother is Sıdıka Nebile Hanım and his father is Salih Kemalettin Efendi. He learned and developed the Karagöz making technique from the stories he heard from his grandfather Hayri Bey when he was young.
He made his first representations out of cardboard, from the age of 16 he used camel and cow skins. He created countless figures in the classical style by developing the technique of embroidery with a knife called nevrekan in the making of representations. In 1962 he began working as a caricaturist and painter for the Istanbul newspaper Ekspres. He began drawing his own character daily, Feleksiz, the hero of the illustrated novel, and Nasreddin Hodja, a folk character, weekly. He bought very valuable forms of representation and a collection of building tools from Cemalettin Saraçoğlu. His depictions skilfully combined the classic style and his own modern style.
Together they prepared the pieces for the artist book “Texts of Old and New Karagöz Pieces” published by the Ministry of Culture in 1997. The artist, who worked as an amateur until 1976, became 1st among 13 artists in Turkey in the 1st National Karagöz Competition opened by the Ministry of Culture in the same year and entered his professional art life. He brought the endangered classics “Ferhat ile Şirin” and “Leyla ile Mecnun” to the stage of dreams.
Metin Özlen has reinterpreted and revived many comprehensive pieces that exist or have been forgotten in the curtain of dreams. The artist died on May 3, 2022 in the hospital where he was treated.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in his office: “The Karagöz artist Metin Özlen died at the age of 82 in our Ümraniye Training and Research Hospital, where he was being treated in the intensive care unit.