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Mertim Gokalp is a Sydney based artist of Turkish origin who has been granted a distinguished talent visa by the Australian Government to allow him to live and work in Australia. 


Mertim’s training at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Academy, Istanbul, has prepared him well for a career in portraiture, and in the eight years that he has been living in Sydney he has been selected as a finalist in all the top portrait exhibition here: the Archibald Prize; the Doug Moran Portrait Prize; and the Black Swan Art Prize. In addition he has hung in other regional shows like the School of Visual Arts, New York, with an Honorable Mention; and the Sydney Hunters Hill Regional Art Prize, Winner; and Highly Commended .  He won the Kennedy Art Prize in 2017 with his portrait of Manu Feldel., and won the Hunters Hill Art Prize two years in a row 2017 and 2018.

Artist Statement

To me, painting is a synthesis of my feelings, inspirations, reactions and struggles; it is a way of breathing in and out…Painting portrait is one of my passions as it is a great area to explore the underpinnings of human psychology. Using the narrative potential of portrait painting, I aim to challenge the viewers and confront them with their most inner feelings.

My portraits are not literal representations of people posing or sitting. These are subjective portraits of the psyche. All portraits reveal something about the subject, but they are open to many interpretations as they are enigmatic most of the time.My portraits are a celebration of the human form.

Similarly, I aim to capture particular psychological moments of the places, and my landscape paintings are not literal depictions of places. Instead, the landscapes I paint reflect my subjective relationship with the places.


As an artist trained in a Fine Arts Academy, I always appreciate and try to live up to the standards of great academic masters.

The inspiration is to incorporate my observations into my unique style.

Mertim Gokalp

Photo of Mertim Gokalp
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