04/25/2012 05:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld and Artist Nicolas Pol Take on Istanbul

Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld and Artist Nicolas Pol

If the opening hosted by Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld for artist Nicholas Pol this week in Istanbul is anything like the "shindig" they threw last year in New York City, I have one word of advice for the good people of Turkey: "Gird your loins."

From April 26th through May 17, 2012, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, along with Demet Muftuoğlu Eşeli and Alphan Eşeli of the ISTANBUL '74 gallery, will present EPEKTASIS, Nicolas Pol's first solo exhibition in Turkey. The exhibition will be presented in the Süha Fazlı Han, a 150 year-old mercantile building in the historic district of Karaköy, Istanbul and will feature a selection of large-scale paintings by the Paris-based artist.


For his debut exhibition in Istanbul, the young and very French Mr. Pol explores the concept of epektasis, the philosophy of personal extension from the ancient Turkish theologian, Gregory of Nyssa. However, with his usual impish irreverence, Nicholas' paintings reveal a twist on the original religious meaning to incorporate the French derivation épectase, an orgasmic death. The result is an intense collection of paintings filled with sensory exploration catapulting its subjects and onlookers into a participatory whirlwind of pleasure, introspection and suffering. Part religious icon painting, part brothel, Pol's EPEKTASIS yields imagery of high fashioned demons, faux corporations, reductive physics and wanton whores. Pol puts forth sarcastic and sadistic observations on theology, iconography and popular culture as he interweaves high and low culture into a bloodied frenzy.

Since 2001, Nicolas Pol has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Born in Paris, Pol spent much of his childhood in Africa before relocating to France. He went on to earn his degree at the prestigious Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts at La Sorbonne. Following two successful solo shows at Alsopp Contemporary in London, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld presented Pol's work in three large-scale international exhibitions -- The Martus Maw in New York in 2009, The Mother of Pouacrus in London in 2010 and Sick Atavus of the New Blood in 2011 in New York. Pol has participated in numerous group exhibitions in prestigious institutions such as the J-en Rêve Fondation Cartier, the Plus Que Vrai ENSBA Salle des Quais in Paris and the Loic le Gaillard in London.


To his credit, the young and very fashionable Mr. Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld has collaborated with emerging and established artists to produce exhibitions, providing them with an artistically significant and commercially viable platform to promote their artwork in venues around the world. Since 2008, Roitfeld has worked with a diverse array of artists including Richard Hambleton, RETNA, Nicolas Pol, Ouattara Watts, Yi Chen and Richard DuPont.

To those brave Turks who do not heed my warning and dare to venture into the paint dripped and splattered world created by Messrs. Restoin-Roitfeld and Pol, two things are for sure: a guaranteed great time at their exciting opening and the introduction to prolific work being created by one of the most talented and exciting artist emerging today.

photos courtesy of VladimirRestoinRoitfeld