Biography

Ayhan Keser was born in 1974 in the city of Duisburg, which can be considered as the labor migration center of Germany. He spent the first years of his childhood in Marxloh, which is known as the famous ghetto district of Duisburg. After graduating from primary school in Germany, he returned to Turkey with his family and graduated from Geological Engineering (BSc) at Istanbul University (2003). He started looking for a job after his education and soon realized that the Marble-Travertines that he was introduced during his university education were also used in the production of artistic mosaics. Then he settled in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 2002 and tried to sell the artistic mosaic he bought from Turkey for a while, but failed because of the political uncertainties on the island.

His admiration for the handmade artistic mosaic works encouraged him to buy an electric marble cutting machine which he later customized personally. This primitive device he designed was used to cut the square shaped Mosaic stones that are common in artistic mosaics. Due to the difficulty of finding marble and travertine on the island, he had to change his focus to tiles. These colorful small square mosaics gave a more modern look compared to the mosaic work experiments he produced in Art-Nouveau style by breaking them by hand in his first workshop, which he rented in 2003. He also completed the artistic-mosaic studies (Kunst am Bau) of a Villa located in the village of Alona in the Greek part of the island. In 2003, the artist organized an exhibition in Cyprus Republic called „Greek Gods“, consisting of 6 pieces.

Ayhan Keser settled in Istanbul in 2006. With the experience he gained in the Kunst am Bau on the island of Cyprus, he started to make large-scale artistic mosaic mural, which were not very popular in Istanbul. In the following eleven years, more than hundred and twenty large-scale artistic wall mosaics of the artists are displayed in Africa, Baku, Basrah, Cyprus and England, also almost in every city of Turkey. His lower back disturbance started to become a problem in 2014, due to the weight of the material during the preparation of these large-sized mosaic murals, but this problem did not prevent his love of making big paintings. Years later, the artist was asked the question “Why do you make Stencil Wall Art, what does it have to do with Mosaic Wall Art?” which was answered as following;

“The Technique used in Mosaic Wall Art (Mosaic Mural) is the arranging of materials of different colors, while in stencil wall art, different colors and materials are stacked on top of each other, fundamentally there is not much difference in my opinion”. While working with the Stencil Wall art technique, his lower back problem slowed down and meanwhile, the artist made over twenty large wall paintings in Turkey with this method. Despite all his efforts, the artist had to stop his artistic wall work orders and close his studio in Istanbul in March 2017 due to severe low back pain. Some of the works that the artist created during this eleven year period were featured in Turkey’s leading interior architecture magazines such as „Maison Française“, and he was invited many times as the guest of honor to different mosaic events and was honored with plaques. The artist’s work on the wall of a metro station in Bursa was displayed as an example in the 1st International Thessaloniki Art & Design Symposium. The artist also gave four seminars, one of which was at Izmir Dokuz Eylul University, on „The place of large mosaic murals in art and their commercial value“, took place in Izmir in April 2017. Before closing his studio in Istanbul, the artist created twelve works, in which he used the Stencils Art scene’s indispensable „street art“ techniques for the first time combined with the mosaic art technique in the same work, to be exhibited at the Parallax Art Fair / London.

Ayhan Keser was inspired by the flat, large surface and especially the lightweight of the boxes while throwing the empty transport boxes after moving out, unwittingly finding a material to produce his new works. Later, the artist immediately rented a workshop, collected large-sized used cardboards and created new light canvases by gluing them together. The artist experimented with different artistic experiments for about twelve months and within the first six months of this brand new art period, he has created six pieces of up to 1.5m x 2m in size, consisting of mosaics that he named „Primitive Mosaic Art“ that he created by cutting the cardboard pieces with paint on it. The work was named „dead fishes follows bullets“ and was purchased by a businessman from Istanbul, but the remaining 5 works were discarded during the artist’s migration to Hamburg, because of the difficulty of transportation due to the large size of the works.

In the second six month period, the artist created four works which he named „Aian“. The name Aian is a secret alphabet developed by the artist. This alphabet emerged in the years when the artist was working on artistic mosaics, and instead of throwing away broken pieces of ceramics whose forms attracted his attention, he collected them aside and reinterpreted them as twenty-six symbols in the computer environment in 2017. The artist, who was born as an Anatolian Alewite was introduced with his Anatolian Armenian roots when he researched the history and learned this fact only when he reached his thirties due to the limited resources in the country he lived in. The artist, who has access to deeper information about his origin only through foreign sources, has begun to comprehend, albeit late, the reason for the discrimination and political pressures he has lived through from his youth. Expressing his ideas and thoughts freely in an artistic environment with this alphabet he has developed, the artist creates his works on old cardboard and newspaper pieces with different colors and painting techniques. In the same time period, the artist created five more works named „the 5 wishes“, which consists of short texts or words consisting of 26 symbols.

Artist Ayhan Keser settled in Hamburg, Germany in 2019 and teaches Mosaic art and Stencil Art at different public schools in München, Hamburg and Harburg. In this short period of time Ayhan Keser was featured in Germany’s leading newspapers „Die Süddeutsche Zeitung”, and in 2021, he received the „Kultur Sommer Preis Landkreis Harburg“ award for his work named „Climate Change“, which he designed and directed for a local artist group in Jesteburg. The artist became one of the 20 artists that gained the right to participate in the event called „Kunst Ausbruch“, organized by „Stiftung Kunst und Natur“ for the purpose of an open space exhibition. Furthermore, he participated in a group exhibition during this period. The artist continues to paint the suppressed feelings of the past and hopes for the future, by using different painting techniques on daily newspapers with the help of the „Aian“ Alphabet.