Visual Arts: Ara Güler
The 1999 Aydın Doğan Award was given in Visual Arts, and Ara Güler was deemed worthy of the award for his authentic work in the field of photography in the early 1950’s; for his original perspective, insights and innovative treatment of humanity and globally-shared issues; for his photographs that are on par with that the leading photographers of the world of his own generation; for the fact that he carried Turkish photography into the global arena, that he never made concessions regarding his art, and that he was an inspiration to the generation of photographers that followed him.
The selection committee for 1999’s Aydın Doğan Award included Şakir Eczacıbaşı, Prof. Dr. Ali Akay, Alev Ebüzziya, Prof. Dr. Jale Erzen, Prof. Meriç Hızal, Doğan Hızlan and Prof. Hüsamettin Koçan.
Ara Güler was born in İstanbul in 1928. When he started his life as a journalist, the artist was also attending İstanbul University School of Economics.
Güler worked as the head of photography at Hayat Magazine until 1961. When Time & Life opened its office in Turkey in 1956, Güler became a Near East reporter for the publishing group, later working at the same position at Paris Match and Der Stern magazines in 1958.
The Photography Annual published in Britain in 1961 described the artist as one of the seven best photographers of the world. Güler earned the title of Master of Leica in Germany in 1962 – a title given to a small number of artists.
Güler prepared the cover shot on the book celebrating Picasso’s 90th birthday, which was published in three languages. He interviewed and photographed many celebrities such as Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill, Arnold Toynbee, Picasso and Salvador Dali. Güler has prepared the cover shots of numerous books and worked with the most famous photographers around the globe. Some of his published books include; Living In Turkey, Turkish Style, Memories of Old İstanbul, Thus Passed An Era, Hello To Those Left Behind, Lost Colors, Earth On Their Faces and We Will Live On After Babıali. The artists have staged over 30 personal and group exhibitions, and some photographs are currently exhibited in Paris, the USA and Germany.