• filizpiyale_art50

    A Painter Looking for Peace in Natural Landscapes: Filiz Piyale

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Filiz Piyale carries an artistic and academic identity simultaneously, and the intellectual aspect of art is of utmost importance for her. We talked to Piyale, who believes that man can only find peace by confronting his tension with nature, about the origins of her artistic practice and her future projects.


  • Painting and The World of Fairy Tales with Mehmet Çevik

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Mehmet Çevik’s authentic personality finds its expression in the worlds of his fairy tale-like paintings. We took a colourful journey into Çevik the artist’s story, with his childhood heroes keeping us company.


    How did your first encounter with painting take place? Did you use to paint when you were a child?

    I can say I was first introduced to the ‘act of painting’ with the children’s  show “Sesame Street” on TRT. On the other hand, I learnt about canvas from Bob Ross and his show on TRT 2, “The Joy of Painting”. I used to watch Bob’s brush strokes with my family, with our mouths wide open in amazement. I think the generation born in the 80s in the countryside and raised with the subculture owe a lot to Bob. I did my first oil painting in high school and I intended to paint a snowy landscape just like Bob used to. I didn’t like my first try so I smahed it with my head! Although I thought I wasn’t good enough, my painting teacher at that time realized I was passionate and encouraged me to consider going to a fine arts high school. Thus I started my career by enrolling in the Adana Fine Arts High School.


    In your works, you hide uncanny stories behind a child-like, almost ‘cute’ language. When and how did this style emerge? Where do you draw inspiration from?

    This effect might be due to the fact that I still keep the fantasy world of the Sesame Street and the characters in The Muppet Show very much alive within me. I’m not a Melancholy Activist. There are stories and the paintings do the talking; but their language is a little different. It’s like speaking Pagan. I’m not concerned about understanding and interpreting either; I don’t look for a conclusion or context. The tale continues even if we fall asleep listening to it. Actually, I previously worked as teaching staff at the academy and this style of mine emerged after I left. I think the academic language suffers from fatigue and I find it extremely boring.

    Mehmet Çevik - Bebek Rüyası

    Mehmet Çevik – Bebek Rüyası

    Writers and artists you regularly follow?

    There are no artists, writers, politicians, friends or people I regularly follow. I read whatever I come across; I look at, listen to and live with what or whomever I encounter. I try not to be too selective. There is something to be found in everything! I believe that all kinds of opportunities for inspiration are there as long as one is motivated enough. In short, I’m a flexible person and I love living with coincidences!


    Do you produce illustrations or comics as well? Is it among your plans for the future?

    I tried such things in the past; but didn’t exactly pursue them. I don’t say I would never do them either. In my high school years I drew a lot of comics. I aspired to humor magazines; I used to buy the Pişmiş Kelle magazine on a weekly basis. Then the magazine disappeared from the scene and my interest in the subject faded away. The language of painting has changed and is still changing a lot; so it takes my entire concentration. Thus it’s very difficult for me to dedicate time for illustration.

    Mehmet Çevik - Yatmaz Kalkmaz

    Mehmet Çevik – Yatmaz Kalkmaz

    How did your paths cross with Art50.net? In your opinion, what kind of contributions do online platforms have on young artists’ careers?

    I was introduced to Art50.net via reference. Then I examined the website and liked it a lot. I approach conventional galleries rather cautiously. But online galleries are more flexible and in line with the spirit of our era, so to speak. We are in the digital age, after all. The information flow in the virtual environment is much faster and online platforms are very well adapted to this speed of circulation. Plus, online galleries have the opportunity to work with more artists compared to the conventional galleries; so they are able to offer the young and emerging artists a larger domain of opportunities for visibility.


    Any upcoming projects on the horizon?

    I participate to several national and international exhibitions and art fairs. I also have some alternative and authentic solo and group projects I intend to realize independently.


    Click for the artist’s page.

  • On Umut Yalım’s Extraordinary Adventure In The Arts

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Umut Yalım is one of the most colorful, authentic and versatile figures of our contemporary art scene. Approaching the notion of art in his writings, drawings and performances from a critical perspective, Yalım talked to us about his journey as an artist, his areas of interest and his upcoming projects.


    When did your fascination with art first begin? And how did Elvis enter your life?

    My “Art” life began with those notebooks that parents hand to their children to keep them busy, with the only difference that I literally spent hours with them. This was around when I was 1-2 years old. I kept drawing non-stop until I was 11-12. Then I started writing. During that time, writing took precedence over drawing. And this was the very moment when Elvis stepped in. During high school I wasn’t someone who listened to a lot of music, unlike my age group in general. There wasn’t a singer I was crazy for either. I began to research the “Rockabilly” personalities once a classmate of mine in the UK told me “there was too much Rock’n’Roll” in my drawings. As soon as I did, I got my first slap in the face from Elvis. Both in his life story and his music, I found we had so much in common. I have been working with that parallelism ever since.

    Umut Yalım - Rockabilly Misfit

    Umut Yalım – Rockabilly Misfit

    Let’s talk a bit about the art education you received in the UK. What was the process like? What kinds of contributions did it have on you?

    The most typical aspect of the Anglo-American education system is its willingness to leave the individual alone, so that he can find his own way, with his own efforts. And unlike the French school system based on ateliers, it has a lot of room for freedom. As long as you are behind what you do and you maintain your position whatever happens, your professors provide you with all kinds of support. For me, the most important contributions of this structure have been self-confidence, resistance against the slavery of the mainstream artistic currents and an integrated approach towards all artistic disciplines. I think this is also the biggest problem for the artists in our country: adapting to the mainstream too quickly and confining yourself to one single path.


    What are the main concepts and themes in your artistic practice? Who is this Rockabilly? And why him?

    Essentially any subject. But I take that any subject and make it my own, and turn it into a symbol. Then I reduce this symbolism to the scale of an object or commodity. For instance, for me, a phone that rings despite being unplugged corresponds to waiting and any other subject matter related to it. And the handle of all these situations and subject matters is the Noncompliant Rockabilly. I can refer to him as my alter-ego. He’s like the summary of my last fifteen years. An Elvis-like personality. His clothes, his figure, his hair, his style, etc… As I identify myself with Elvis, this is how my alter-ego manifests itself in my works.

    Umut Yalım - Rockabilly Misfit

    Umut Yalım – Rockabilly Misfit

    In addition to visual arts, you are deeply interested in literature, and more specifically, poetry. How do these two areas in your practice relate to each other? What are their similarities and differences both in terms of creative experience and subject matter?

    I think poetry is more of a form of plastic art than it is a literary genre. In Edip Cansever’s words, “Poetry is something that you do”. Its writing is essentially a kind of drawing; writing the word “cat” is more beautiful than drawing the cat. We are already accustomed to use the text as such in our traditional art, calligraphy. This is why I think we have an intuition, a perceptual inclination for this unity. And thus, in my works, I also use the text itself as an instrument of plasticity. In my newly emerging series WritingArting I use the text and its narrative style as a drawing instrument. In short, my poems and my plastic artworks develop intrinsically.


    How did your paths cross with Art50.net? Your thoughts on online art platforms?

    I have known Güliz (Özbek) from the art scene for many years. I already knew and followed Art50.net of which she was the founder; but I became a part of it thanks to my friend Haydar Akdağ, the artist. He presented me to Art50.net and this way one more missing piece of mine was complete. For nowadays, the virtual environment is the biggest and fastest meeting point between what we did and will do, and the art enthusiasts. And Art50.net is one of the best representatives of this environment both in the Turkish and the international context. I believe that the world will build an inner-universe where the human being will become some sort of an online life form, and that art will not be immune to this phenomenon and will be produced exclusively within this online environment if we go on like this anyway. In my opinion, online platforms like Art50.net will be the single focus of life and art in the future.

    Umut Yalım - Rockabilly Misfit

    Umut Yalım – Rockabilly Misfit

    Your biggest dream as an individual and an artist? And your upcoming project(s)? 

    One of my biggest dreams is to do a monumental installation at the Serpentine Gallery. Its conceptual and schematic foundations are already complete. I want to make a move for it in the days to come. Regarding my projects, I have always thought that the England part of my artistic journey remained interrupted. I want to do something about it as well. I also intend to switch from the group exhibitions I am often part of to a focus on solo exhibitions. I will have a solo show in November 7-25 at the Artifact Gallery in New York where I will exhibit works from the WritingArting project I mentioned earlier. I hope this will be one more step forward in my rapprochement with the American art scene. I want to develop WritingArting further in the days to come. I intend to carry it to a three-dimensional level. It seems that I will concentrate more heavily on Anti-Art within this context. I already refer to this period I’m going through as my Anti-Artist phase.

    Click for the artist’s page.

  • Ahmet Rüstem Ekici: Art50.net’s New and Multi-talented Member

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Lately we have been hearing his name quite often. Active in creative fields ranging from art to design, from writing to photography, Ahmet Rüstem Ekici talks to us about his artistic adventure that currently continues at Art50.net.


    How and when did your interest in art emerge? How did you decide to pursue an art direction and set design career in television? What have you learnt throughout this process?

    I became aware of my talent for design and drawing at a very young age and I pursued it through various training courses. My close relations with all disciplines at Bilkent University Faculty of Fine Arts as well as courses in stage and set design for television pushed me into the television industry, alienating me from Interior Architecture, i.e. my original profession. Television studio and set design are intertwined with a wide range of disciplines. Carpentry, metalworking, lighting design and various materials are all involved in the business. As a TV setting is produced for the camera at least as much as for the human eye, the result is an illusion with an appearance for the naked eye and another one for the camera. Thus having photography training is also quite important. Throughout this process, I developed my skills in generating illusion and creating dramatic landscapes through lighting design. My knowledge of materials allows me to pick the right ones for my works, in line with their thematic contents, and these are usually ready-made objects. I also learnt a lot about 3D drawings since I proceed with them through the entire production process.

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, US serisi No:3

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Series No:3

    How about your main concepts and subjects of interest?

    As an individual living in an urban canter, what I witness on a daily basis offers me plenty of scenes. My identity as an element in these scenes as well as my entire community referred to as the other, constitute the basis of my artistic practice; I am mainly interested in gender, family, relationships, our existential struggle and the city with its speedy transformation. At a park where I take a promenade or in an urban transformation process that I have a chance to observe, I find many clues about the individual’s struggle for survival, his or her privacy and differences, and this allows me to continuously create new works. On the other hand, my architectural education background pushes me to create works that are mostly three-dimensional and spatial; In terms of artistic language, I feel closest to site-specific installations and digital works.


    Artists and designers that inspire you? Your thoughts on the nature of the relationship between art and design?

    Art and design are the two parts of one single entity that shall never be separated. Both serve each other and they take shape together. Their only difference lies in their existential purpose and conceptual vocabulary depending on the specific context. Thanks to the developments in fashion, show business technologies and interfaces in new media artworks, the new century has already shown us that these two instruments move on together. With his stage designs, landscapes and images, Gottfried Helnwein is one of the most inspiring artists for me. Since I am interested in street art, I also enthusiastically follow JR and particularly his large-scale projects. I deeply admire Marcel Wanders and how he relates to the space as a designer. Şahin Kaygun’s Polaroid works are one of my biggest sources of inspiration.

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Serisi No:2

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Series No:2

    Can you tell us more about the conceptual basis and technical characteristics of your series on Art50.net?

    For Art50.net, I prepared two series titled We and Us respectively. I first built a field with the 3D program interface that I regard as an infinite universe endowed upon me, and I approached this field as a stage. I created the “Us” series completely out of digital drawings, which was structured like a storyboard with three frames narrating the story of a couple wanting to get married and unified. I leave the interpretation of this LGBTI+ themed story and of its narrative structure to the audience. Whereas in “We” series, I first took the photographs of the stage that I produced as a model, and then modified them in digital environment. Like “Us”, this work offers the viewer a series of landscapes that compose a storyline. In my stage designs, I always have to build a setting in line with the existing screenplay; in my artistic productions, on the other hand, my setting and my narrative work together to build a whole and these stories gain authenticity with each viewer’s personal experiences.

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, We Serisi No:2

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, We Series No:2

    The project/installation you would love to do if you had infinite resources?

    Digital drawing provides me with endless material and spatial resources. I can navigate 360 degrees in my 3D drawing field and this constantly makes me question my touch with reality. Digital drawing also allows me to create any lighting or setting I need without budget restrictions. I wish I could produce all those 3D drawings in real life and scale as site-specific installations instead of sharing on Instagram. I wish I could make people forget reality even a little bit through a large-scale installation that would leave its mark on the city.


    The place in the world you would love to visit the most?

    I am an art traveller with serious potential. I am interested in visiting geographically or architecturally gigantic sites where one can see his presence and his physical body as a minuscule entity. I have been able to visit 12 countries so far but since my childhood, my biggest dream was to visit Capetown; and it has come true. The world is impressive and filled with beautiful things that are able to distract us from our daily problems. I hope I get the chance to experience all of them before they become extinct.


    How did your paths cross with Art50.net? What are your thoughts on online platforms?

    I have been actively writing an art and travel blog in the last 3 years. This writing adventure also extended to several magazines. My purpose in creating a blog was to support art as much as I could. As an online platform that I admired, I also promoted Art50.net’s projects, and wanted to be part of this family as an artist. I find online art platforms necessary since they can reach the buyer more easily. Although most of the art market’s activity takes place in Istanbul, we should keep in mind that contemporary art followers exist in other Turkish cities too.

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Serisi No:1

    Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Us Series No:1

    And how about your upcoming projects?

    I’m preparing for my solo exhibition. I’m preparing this series on women, the body and the relationship between women and architecture. They will be produced with architectural drawing software and based on various buildings and building elements.


    Click for the artist’s page.

  • gozde gurel

    On Art and Society with Gözde Gürel

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    The artist Gözde Gürel is both very young and profound. She welcomes the human being into her works with all his worry, pain and hope. As one of the newest members of the Art50.net family, we had a conversation with Gürel where we got to know more about her and her artistic practice.


    When and how did you become interested in art?

    I have been interested in painting since I was little. In the last seven years, I have been continuing my life as a graphic design student. Actually this had kept me away from the thought of having to decide on what to do with my life; yet this was also the time during which I rediscovered I had to keep on painting.


    You refer to your art as “close to the lowbrow movement”. Can we hear a bit more about it, its characteristics and history?

    Lowbrow is a visual artistic movement that emerged in late 70s in Los Angeles, California; it is also known as Pop Surrealism. It generally focuses on painting while occasionally being used in sculptures and toys, and it also draws inspiration from subculture and comics.

    Gözde Gürel, Gizli Oda Arkadaşı, 2015.

    Gözde Gürel, Secret Roommate, 2015.

    In your works, autobiographic elements, psychological references and social criticisms are plenty. In your opinion, what is the biggest problem in contemporary societies?

    If I consider myself a member of the society, I can answer this from a personal viewpoint; although we think we are very precious, we keep finding ourselves in devalued and devaluing relationships. This is as tiresome as it is ironic. There are is limit to our desire as well as to our pessimism.


    We may argue that your artistic approach has affinity with comics and caricature. Are there any comics you regularly follow? Your favorite comic hero/heroine? And why?

    Even if I’m not a devoted follower, I love reading comics. I find the Image Comics series particularly empowering and contemporary. I usually enjoy reading the stories of those characters like Wonder Woman and Batwoman that challenge gender norms.


    Your works contain references to social phobia. Your thoughts on this subject?

    I’m a member of the generation that has witnessed both the pre and the post internet era, and I can say we occasionally go through difficult times. Our emotions and actions are in constant conflict and I think this is why we tend to push people away, our problems being our main excuses.


    Gözde Gürel, Anksiyete, 2015.

    Gözde Gürel, Anxiety, 2015.

    The artists you admire? And the writers you find inspiration in?

    I can mention Matt Gordon, Alice Wellinger, Camille Rose Garcia, Alessandro Sicioldr, Elif Varol Ergen, Mercedes Helnwein, Nick Sheehy, Ali Elmacı and Thomas Ascott. In my high school years I used to paint out of inspiration from the writings of William S. Burroughs; I’m still influenced by the kind of writing that contains free associations, taking the mind to an intriguing journey. It works particularly well while developing an idea for a new work.


    How did you come across Art50.net? Your thoughts on online art platforms?

    I became acquainted with Art50.net after the group exhibition “Geography: LGBTI + Pride Week” at Galeri Bu. My works have never been on sale on an online platform before, and it will be a novelty for me as well.


    Your projects in the nearest future?

    My current priority is to keep my motivation high and to create even more art.


    Click for the artist’s page.

  • On Cinema and Popular Culture With Kerem Topuz

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    The newest member of the Art50.net family and a cinema professional, the artist Kerem Topuz focuses on contemporary consumerism and popular imagery. We deeply enjoyed our conversation with Topuz on subjects ranging from Pop Art to Capitalist Critique.


  • A Critical Look at the Concept of Progress with Doğukan Çiğdem

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Doğukan Çiğdem’s childlike, primitive characters point at the ridiculousness of humanity’s narcissistic admiration for itself and its civilization. They question how we get lost in the darkest tunnels of time with the illusion of dominating it. The artist poetically told his own story to us.


    How did your artistic venture begin?

    I had faith in the transfer at the very tip of the pyramid; my awareness emerged in my early twenties. I wasn’t supposed to keep it to myself. My paintings were supposed to flourish; I had already hit the road. My practicality allowed me to engage with a variety of materials; thus I began to carry the existing story into a diversity of forms.


    Did painting or fairy tales come first?

    Painting has always been there. Fairy tales, on the other hand, became a habit at the age of 15 once my reflex for taking notes emerged. I began to write my own short tales and then to illustrate them.


    Can you tell us about your conceptual approach?

    We’re able to evaluate pre-historic revolutions more objectively; their consequences had a less significant impact on us as individuals. That is why I prefer concentrating on the notion of progress of the last few centuries and I invite the viewers here as well. In my opinion, the only thing distinguishing some people from others is their ability to think on a daily basis, even only for two or three minutes. Since I discovered the power of forms in triggering questions, I have been trying to create question-like works at I believe are able to push people to think.

    Doğukan Çiğdem, Astral Travel, 2017.

    I’m wondering about your sources of inspiration…

    My main sources are human history, human vs. nature, human vs. human and nature vs. nature. In my paintings I try to emphasize the fact that time changes us and not the other way round.


    Your works bring archetypes and fantasy elements to mind. You have a connection with naïve and primitive arts, and it appears to be a critical attitude rather than a stylistic choice…

    You’re right; criticism is originated in how I manipulate aesthetics. An atmosphere of freedom brings authenticity as well, after all.


    Our present world is too analytical for many of us. Emotions are overshadowed by thoughts. The same holds for art as well. What would you like to say about this issue?

    The changing world turned intelligence into a must-have trait while it was only one of our many abilities. It was a mistake; organisms were reduced to simple mechanisms. As time went by, our emotional stomach shrank. As a result, we are currently too skinny.


    Can you describe your creative process?

    I can say that I sort of cocoon myself. I push my perception to the limit and I observe, I read. I find my inspiration both in literature and real life. You might guess that I experience no shortage of material supply whatsoever.

    Doğukan Çiğdem, Consultations, 2017.

    Contemporary artists you admire and regularly follow?

    I try to follow everyone that’s sincere; I actively engage in an effort to read the forms. The biggest role in interpreting a work of art belongs to the viewer; thus I don’t want to constrain myself by mentioning specific names. I foresee a work-viewer relationship where everyone looks at, reads, interprets everyone else and acts within that narrative.


    You also worked as a graphic designer. Do you continue to do so?

    I did some design-oriented, commercial projects in that area. I can’t say I have totally closed that page; I still keep experimenting and learning. But I think my place is rather in humor and literature magazines.


    How did your collaboration with Art50.net emerge? And your thoughts on online art platforms?

    I had assumed Art50.net was well equipped and open minded; I was right. I think online art platforms are a necessity but they have to be more selective and as soon as possible. In this sense, I see no alternative to Art50.net in this part of the world and I’m not alone in my impression.


    Your new projects in the nearest future?

    I will keep enriching myself with experimental media. I continue making tapestry, painting and sculpting. And I have a solo exhibition which will take place at Galeri Bu in December 2017.


    Click for the artist’s page.

  • A Journey through the East and the West, the Old and the New with Ece Gauer

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Ece Gauer is a strong character who regards difficulties as an opportunity for creativity, and obstacles as a source of motivation. Gauer has recently joined Art50.net and we had a conversation with her about her life oscillating between Europe and Turkey, as well as the effects of this experience on her artistic practice.


    You graduated from a French high school and went to Germany; you participated to several exhibitions in France. How did the Turkish-French-German triangle emerge?

    Once I graduated from French High School Saint Joseph, I had a short attempt at studying cinema-photography in Lyon; but I came back and continued my education in Istanbul. As I had been painting since my early childhood with the passion within me, artistic creations began to regularly emerge while I studied Fashion Design and Marketing at LaSalle Academy… So much so that I designed a costume inspired by one of Fahrelnissa Zeid’s paintings as my graduation project. No matter what I did, I couldn’t find professional satisfaction anywhere else; painting was much more than a hobby for me. I was successfully accepted to Mimar Sinan University with a last moment preparation and I graduated as a Valedictorian. Then I continued my education in Munich Fine Arts Academy. I won the 1st prize at a mosaic competition in Latvia and then I did several exhibitions in Munich and other places in Germany. The latest exhibitions in Paris, on the other hand, were organized as part of an EU project.


    Your lifestyle extending to various geographic contexts certainly has a profound effect on your art and this duality is a source of inspiration for you. This must have had both positive and negative sides to it. How do you experience being an artist both in Europe and in Turkey? What are the pros and cons of each?

    I think during my education in Turkey we were always trained under a European influence, i.e. in terms ofline, color, subject, stain and composition. Once I went to Germany, my world went upside down. We had an eccentric, tough, unpopular professor. If I surrendered to my ego and changed my workshop to avoid him, I was going to have chosen the easy path and rejected change and progress. And he was the one who opened the first door into my self-questioning and pursuit of my culture, my authentic language.


    Ece Gauer, Read, 2017.


    Your education seems to have turned into an interesting adventure in its own right…

    In the eyes of a German artist, fashion is obviously different from cinema; thus I had to work much harder, conduct more intense research and express myself more clearly. Eventually, what didn’t kill me made me stronger and gave me new horizons. Painting ceased to be a goal and became an instrument for finding the truth and finding myself. In my opinion, I owe to my education in Istanbul the technique of how I’m supposed to use this instrument, whereas I owe my intellectual education to my experience abroad, and I can say I’m still in motion. As a Turkish woman and mother, your effort has to be a hundred times greater if you want to become an artist. And you first have to believe and persevere, of course.


    You were trained in several areas including painting and mosaic. How did all these areas you familiarized yourself with affect your artistic practice?

    They are only instruments. My choice of materials depends on availabilities and requirements for each project. For example, I find glass and ceramic very comforting and they express me better with installations. The outcome of a glass-ceramic installation I did in an exhibition in Munich was very satisfying. You need to use alternative materials from time to time; missing the canvas is also good for you.


    Your works contain an amalgam of references to a variety of historical periods and cultures. How do research, planning and intuition, coincidence interact in your practice? Can you tell us more about your conceptual approach?

    I went back to the roots, to the past and began to question who we were. People who see my paintings abroad keep saying things like “where are you from; this is very different; it has both an Eastern and a Western feeling to it”. Indeed, I am likewise; it wasn’t appropriate to create something that I wasn’t. Painting has its must-have elements; composition, color, form, lines, and these are universal rules but beyond them, it’s up to the painter’s world to really build content. I’m influenced by what I read, my philosophy of life, my surroundings. And everything I draw inspiration from comes from these lands, from this culture; if I painted like a European, that garment wouldn’t fit me; but of course, there are also things that I’m influenced by in the West.


    Ece Gauer, Polished Heart with Patience, 2017.


    Artists you admire?

    Burçin Erdi is an artist whose character and paintings I admire simultaneously. I can mention Neo Rauch, Anselm Kiefer, Marina Abramovic and Jean Marc Bustamante. Bustamante was also one of the professors at ADBK Munich.


    How did you come across Art50.net? Your thoughts on online art platforms?

    I heard about it from an artist, a friend of mine and have been following it and appreciating it since. I think online art platforms will become more mainstream. And artists will achieve greater visibility and reach a broader audience through them.


    Your upcoming projects?

    I will have an exhibition in Munich in June. On the other hand, I have a solo show in Tegernsee due late August.


    Click for the artist’s page.

  • The World of Tales, Stories and Myths with Deniz Defne Acerol

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Deniz Defne Acerol is truly a storyteller. In her compositions, she uses classical and mythological references with a contemporary critical approach. We talked with Defne who has recently joined the Art50.net family about her life, paintings and ongoing projects.


    You were born in Hong Kong. How old were you when you left? What was the impact of this experience on your philosophy?

    I stayed in Hong Kong until I was one year old. My family travelled to places like Hong Kong, Bali and Thailand, learning their music, clothing, cuisine, art, i.e. lifestyle which added diversity and richness to their lifestyle. I grew up in Turkey; but thanks to my family and the diversity I saw and heard through them helped me develop my imagination skills and adopt an alternative perspective.


    How did you decide to stay in Turkey and study art here?

    My family’s decision to come back to Turkey when I was one was due to issues related to work. I descend from a line of architects, painters, designers and sculptors. I began drawing at a very young age, painting the granite and wooden walls of our home. My family was very understanding; they always gave me support in whatever I did. They definitely wanted me to study a field I would enjoy working in. So I chose my childhood passion from a range of alternatives including cooking, sculpture and painting. This way my family helped me turn my childhood passion into my profession. Both my parents always used to tell us stories to develop our imagination. We used to anxiously wait for them to go on to hear how the story continued. And I finally wanted to create my own stories.


    Interestingly, I feel like your works combine the effects of classical etching with that of anime/manga. What would you like to tell us about it? 

    As I was studying at Mimar Sinan University under the mentorship of Nedret Sekban and Ahmet Umur Deniz, I began to add in my paintings my humorous stories in addition to their academic and rational viewpoint. They truly encouraged my approach. This way, stories slowly began to emerge. I also had taken etching lessons from Can Aytekin. Hatching pen was very suitable for me as its effect was similar to etching. As I combined my stories with such a material that made life so much easier, works which combined classical etching and anime effects emerged.

    Deniz Defne Acerol, Laboratory, 2016.

    It is evident in your artworks that you are heavily inspired by mythology and fairy tales. The concept of storytelling is currently becoming extremely popular all over the world as well. Do you ever produce works for fairy tale books or storytelling events?

    These days I’m working on some projects I have been developing with my older sister. Su studies painting and since she’s also an archeologist, she has very extensive knowledge on mythology and legends. Making use of the latter, we have been writing a story together and I have been drawing illustrations for it.


    Do you make use of digital technologies in producing your works? How do you regard digitally produced artworks?

    There are very smart and impressive works produced in digital environment. Frankly, as I look at some of them I realize they surprisingly involve a lot of mastership and a lot of things I still need to learn. I’m a Photoshop user and I try to follow the developments in the drawing software market on a daily basis. But in my works where I use traditional materials I don’t make use of Photoshop or similar programs; I don’t want to make my job easier and deprive myself of the progress I will make thanks to challenges.

    Deniz Defne Acerol, Boat Trip, 2016.

    Artists you admire?

    They include Taner Alakuş, Eda Taşlı, Emin Mete Erdoğan and Nick Alm.


    Your upcoming works and projects?

    I currently enlarge and change the materials of my ‘Fish Market’ series exhibited in Mamut Art Poject 2016, and thus keep working on the same series. I also work on the project I explained earlier.


    How did you find out about Art50.net? What are your thoughts on digital platforms?

    I had many friends and acquaintances whose works were exhibited on Art50.net. They contacted me after Mamut Art Project and I was very pleased that my works drew attention. Digital platforms are indispensable in today’s world. Even education is available through the internet nowadays. I can reach anything I’m curious about. I think digital platforms offer great advantages to those who know how to use them for research. This way we have the opportunity to access raw and correct information without anyone’s manipulation

    Click for the artist’s page.

  • On Ceramic and a Critical Approach to Social Phenomena with Aslı Aydemir

    Interview: İpek Yeğinsü

    Aslı Aydemir is a particular artist who experimentally combines ceramic with alternative materials, endowing it with deep, sociopolitical concepts. Aydemir talked to us sincerely about her sources of inspiration and her dreams.


    What are your main sources of inspiration?

    The geography I live in and its social consequences, things I see, hear and that I actually don’t want to believe is real. I somehow reflect them and I cure myself with my practice. I can summarize my main topics as women, peace interests and belief systems.


    Ceramic art is deeply rooted in these lands. Ancient times, Mesopotamia, etc… What are your thoughts on this subject?

    The transition of ceramic from artisanal to the artistic realm doesn’t actually go that far back in history. This material with high plasticity that was considered as artisanal and industrial until mid-20th century, has become one of the most preferred media for contemporary artists.


    Ceramic requires very high technical proficiency. What kind of educational process have you been through?

    I graduated from Mimar Sinan University Faculty of Fine Art, Department of Ceramic and Glass Design in 2003. During and after my education period, I kept experimenting and researching techniques I was unfamiliar with, so that I could continue my relationship with the material on the correct platform. I followed the literature, and while doing that I exploited the blessings of the internet and closely examined ceramic design and artwork examples. I even mimicked some of the techniques I encountered. Thus I established a balance in my relationship with this capricious material. Ceramic continues to be my primary medium but I also use concrete, epoxy, plaster and metal. With every new material I also enjoy witnessing phases of collective production.


    Aslı Aydemir, Eulogy Series.

    Your works are also highly critical: subjects like consumerism and devaluation of humans and labor are manifest in them. Where does your exhibition “İade-i İtibar” from last year stand in this picture?

    “İade-i itibar” offers a socio-cultural perspective on the decorative function of Chinese blue-white porcelain figures in middle class homes. I aimed at creating a nostalgic emotion, both for me and the society I live in, by re-processing them with different materials, so that the value attributed to them by those living in those homes could find a true match.


    The artists you regularly follow? Which authors do you read?

    Frankly, since internet entered our lives, instead of following a specific artist I try to follow all the artists and designers within my reach and scope of interest. There are many of them whom I admire. A great example would be Johnson Tsang; he always impresses me with his mastership with porcelain and the subjects he tackles. In recent years, I have been mostly reading technical articles on materials relevant for my projects; but tales and short stories are my favorite literary genre. I think tales are very useful in understanding a society.


    How did your path cross with Art50.net? Your thoughts on online platforms?

    I find online platforms very positive and indispensable for our daily lives, and I even want their number to increase as much as it can. They offer great advantages to the viewer both in reaching the art and the artist. I became familiar with Art50.net thanks to a friend of mine and I regularly followed its activities as I’m an active internet user.


    Aslı Aydemir, Chinatown Series.

    Any new projects on the horizon?

    I currently have two projects that I initiated in 2017; both are related to social pressure and traumas. I can describe them as reflections my own emotional state as a female individual in this society.


    Your biggest dreams on your profession and the world?

    My dreams in both realms proceed on a parallel route. Living in a world with more justice and equality would let me create happier works with less criticism and would help me go back to a more peaceful psychological state. I hope that being productive in a world where we would all prosper and smile peacefully would be more joyful than our current situation.


    Click for the artist’s page.

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