Credit: Courtesy of Derya Kilic.
ISTANBUL, Turkey --The girl's wide eyes gaze out expectantly from beneath her blue-and-gold turban-style headdress, a single teardrop pearl glimmering in her ear. The photograph is a near-match for Johannes Vermeer's famous painting, "The Girl With a Pearl Earring," except for one thing; cuts and bruises mar the subject's eyes, cheeks and chin.
Turkish artist Derya Kilic's recent photography exhibition "To Know, To See . . . ," which closed in mid-January after a month at the Macka Sanat Galerisi in Istanbul, confronted viewers with a series of well-known figures -- women painted by the likes of Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch, Leonardo Da Vinci and Gustav Klimt, each bearing the marks of violence on their faces and bodies.
"I thought if I used the famous paintings, people could look at my photos and see violence as something that happens to a woman that they 'know,'" Kilic told Women's eNews. "I wanted to show that violence is not just a problem of poor women, and not just today's issue. Violence is an issue for every woman, in every place and in every time period."
Reported incidents of domestic abuse and violence against women in Turkey increased by more than 66 percent from 2008 to 2011, according to a report last year by the parliamentary Human Rights Commission. Other studies indicate that upwards of 40 percent of women in Turkey have been victims of domestic violence.
"Violence against women is such a part of daily life in Turkey that people get used to seeing such cases in the news; they lose their sensitivity to it," Selda Asal, another Istanbul-based artist, told Women's eNews.