On the Art and Music in BODO’s Head

By Dehengul Aytüg

BODO ImageThe city of Miami, Florida is not considered a center of cultural activities, by any stretch of the imagination. But as it is with all rules, there are exceptions, and in truth, there are exceptional artists in Miami. One of them is a newcomer to the city’s small art scene. His name is BODO, and perhaps he is not actively seeking admission, or soliciting a candidacy to the Magic City’s diminutive artistic elite environment, because BODO seems to be a lone wolf in the night. Yet, even a slight glimpse at his watercolours or his pencil drawings will demonstrate a most determined, unique and gifted artist. BODO is a figure that Miami would be proud to call one of her own, if he were to allow it.

BODO has established himself at the helm of his brainchild enterprise called BODO DESIGNS. His oeuvres are displayed through the “GALLERIA OMNIA CAELLUM”, situated on the north bank of the mouth of the Miami River in the city’s Downtown enclave. His works are also available on the Internet at bododesigns.com.

Creating, whether it be in the visual, or in his particular brand of World Beat Jazz, BODO produces art which is engaging, provocative and fun.

At the GALLERIA, which is workshop, showroom and business center, BODO paints pictures that own up such qualifiers as: VIVRANT, ALIVE, STRONG.
The paintings, all of them, come to life primarily through his aggressive use of the colour palette. And, the most amazing thing here to be noted is that BODO is colour blind. Clearly that is why I say that I am looking into the inventiveness, the creativity and the mysteries that lurk in the thoughts of the artist. Looking at his colourful works one can truly say that one is seeing what is in the head of BODO, for he cannot even see what you see once what you see in on the canvas.

Using simple mediums, mostly watercolour,and oils, BODO creates a universe of glorified “beings” that seem to stare at you as much as you might stare at them, were you looking at these paintings in an exhibition. BODO’s technique consists mainly of the application of layer after layer of paint, mixed thoroughly a thousand times over, which culminates in tones and shades so out of the ordinary that they seem to have been invented solely for the use on the particular painting wherein they lay.

The pencil and charcoal, mixed medium drawings are a study in precise detail. The effect is of motion, of rhythm, of surrealism and of fantasy. Although at first glance they seem a trifle cluttered, for the artist is by no means a minimalist, the designs within are so captivating, so engaging, that it is hard to tear one’s eyes away.

BODO ImageWhen I look upon a BODO pencil drawing, I feel as if I can stare into it for hours, seeing newer and undiscovered layers. Surely, I know that the next day I can return to the GALLERIA, ponder again at the same piece and still find it as fresh as I did the first time, and I know I will find details in it that I did not see the time before. There is just so much life in these works, so much emotion, that it is difficult not to meditate in front of them.

Yes, these works are truly the visual representation of BODO’s thoughts, and what thoughts must they be! BODO is not a realist as an artist. He is hard to categorise. Certainly he is neither a fantasy artist nor a New Age dreamer. I often wonder if there is a niche for his type of work. Then I realise that there is not, that BODO’s art is simply BODOART…

And there is more to his art, for…BODO creates to the sounds of his own music. How is that? Simple, the artist is also a musician and a composer. At BODO DESIGNS, and at the GALLERIA, the term “Renaissance Man” means: “…live to create, and create to enhance the beauty of the Universe.” (BODO)

Creating, whether it be in the visual, or in his particular brand of World Beat Jazz, BODO produces art which is engaging, provocative and fun. His musical styles must have been born out of the myriad cultures of the planet. BODO’s influences are Cuban, Middle Eastern, African, European, and his inspirations have come from such diverse sources as the Beatles to Mozart, Mingus to Pet Shop Boys and from Flamenco to Vivaldi.

Listening to BODO’s first EP, “YAYA-EH”, one hears the syncopated rhythms of the Caribbean and of West Africa, as well as the poetry of the simple man, the man of the Third World, the one that struggles to survive and values every breath as his last. “YAYA-EH” is also the music of “triumph”, as BODO’s words themselves state: “We go forward, like Che Guevara said, until we reach our Victory!”

The funny thing, or should I say the most interesting thing about BODO’s art is that it is totally unpretentious, as is the artist. The paintings vibrate with force and with the power of their strong colours. The faces within are mysterious, enigmatic, sympathetic and other worldly, yet they are as life-like as you or me. BODO’s music exists also in the sphere of “danceable” poetry. The beat never fails and the lyrics speak of beauty, serving to create an ensemble both pleasing to the dancers and interesting to the intellectually inclined listener.

So, yes, Miami might be the fun and sun capital of America’s east coast, but at least one artist living and functioning in this “summer wonderland”, takes the world as a serious matter and creates from the depths of those, his thoughts. BODO simply BODO, is a rising star. I know that his contribution to the world of art will be strongly felt. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a trend setter…well, I feel it thusly, for these are my thoughts, and this is how I see this inspired young artist.

Dehengul Aytüg, who critiqued the art and music of BODO, is an academician at the IZMIR SANAT ENSTITÜSÜ, (Art Institute of Izmir), in Turkey. She is a collector as well as an art critic, traveling extensively throughout the Middle East and Europe, discovering new talents, presenting new works that exemplify man’s creativity. Ms Aytug presented a selected number of BODO’s paintings in Cunda Island, Turkey, in the Summer of 2001. Dehengul Aytüg resides in Ayvalik, Turkey, with her family.