Yüksel Arslan combined the word art with the French suffix ure (as in peinture or écriture) to create the word arture and he named his works as artures which he made on paper by using mixtures he composed with plants, herbs, soil, egg white, tobacco extract, sugar, salt, soap shreds, blood, and urine. According to him, he is not a painter, but a tuis, borrowing the term from Brecht who invented it to designate intellectuals. He painted the human and everything created by him/her, with an almost encyclopedic conception, “working as a painter, a thinker, and a poet-designer.”
Yüksel Arslan (1933, İstanbul – 2017, Paris) studied Art History at Istanbul University, then started to paint. In 1959, he was invited to Paris by André Breton to the International Exhibition on Surrealism, but could not attend. In 1961, he moved to Paris upon the invitation of art dealer Raymond Cordier, where he created the Homunculus-cucus-palus, and the Planus-phallus-micrococcus series. In 1968, he settled in Paris for the second time; during this period, he focused on artures based on his readings on Marx, Engels, Nietzsche, and Freud. In 1975, he completed his Capital (1967) series. This was the first of his series to be compiled in a book; followed in the 1980’s by Influences, Auto-Artures, and Human. Apart from Paris, his works were exhibited in various French cities such as Sarcelles, Rennes, and Nice, as well as Kunsthalle Wien, Kunsthalle Zürich, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Drawing Center New York, and Venice Biennale, to name few. In 2009, a Yüksel Arslan Retrospective was held at the Santralistanbul. Human was published as three volumes in 1990, 1995, and 1999. He was working on Human, the series he designated as his legacy, in his studio in Paris in his final days. Yüksel Arslan passed away on April 20, 2017 in Paris.