Burhan Dogançay was born in Istanbul in 1929. He obtained his early artistic training from his father and Arif Kaptan. While studying at the University of Paris, from which he holds a doctorate in economics, he took art classes at L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Following a brief career with the government, he decided in 1964 to devote himself entirely to art and to make New York his permanent home.
Long fascinated by urban walls, Dogançay chose them as his subject. In the mid-1970s, he embarked on another project: photographing urban walls. Over time, this project has gained in importance and content and, after nearly four decades, now encompasses more than a hundred countries. In 1982, photographs from this project comprised a one-man exhibition at the Georges Pompidou Center. Dogançay’s photographs of urban walls are an archive of our time and provide the seeds for his paintings.
His preferred medium is collage, the posters and objects he gathers from walls forming the main ingredient for his work, augmented to some extent with fumage. Dogançay re-creates walls in different series, relating to colors, graffiti-types, or the objects he incorporates in his pieces.
He is the recipient of many awards and his work appears in numerous publications, the latest one, Urban Walls: A Generation of Collage in Europe & America (Hudson Hills Press, 2008), due to appear shortly. His work is included in major museums around the world.
He lives with his wife Angela Dogançay in New York and Istanbul where the Dogançay Museum was inaugurated in 2004. He also maintains a studio in Turgutreis.