Born in 1954 in Eğridir, Kemal Önsoy graduated from the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts in 1980. He continued his studies in New York and returned to Istanbul in 1993.
Kemal Önsoy treats his paintings like an archaeologist examining the ruins of history, re-creating the passage of time and consecutive settlements in a single pictorial plane. The overlapping layers of paint reiterate the imbricative layers of architectural ruins in a visual unity. With an occlusive layer of color and texture, the artist contemplates the crumbling of history and residues of the past. Each layer is a specific constituent, significant in itself, together bringing about a complicated organization—a narrative, historical, and corporeal reservoir, a chamber where the history of bodies and architectural structures come together.