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  • Art Fairs with Banu Çarmıklı

    Banu Çarmıklı’s passion for art goes a long way back. In addition to collecting art, she follows the art world very closely. After graduating from Marketing and Business Administration at London University of Richmond, Çarmıklı attended many Art History classes on both international and domestic levels and managed to channel her passion for art into writing. You can follow up Çarmıklı’s art blog and check out her articles that are expanding on a daily basis on banucarmikli.com.

    In the light of two upcoming art fairs that will take place in Istanbul this fall, we asked Çarmıklı, who barely misses an exhibition during the year, all we ever wanted to know about art fairs. She enlightened us about topics ranging from the most attractive parts of art fairs to not-to-be-missed fairs around the world, from suggestions for beginner collectors to her passion for art.

    How did your interest in art come about?
    During the first years of my marriage we used to [with my husband] visit auctions and collect classical paintings and antique objects. During the next few years, art history classes and international as well as domestic exhibitions raised my interest in contemporary art. The books, articles and foreign magazines that I read gave me further information about contemporary art and my art adventure had begun…Eventually, my interest in art has become something more than a hobby and has turned into a passion.

    Could you tell us a little about your art collection?
    We have been interested in art for 26 years. We used to collect antique Ottoman Period objects such as Beykoz glass bottles, perfume bottles, silver objects with coat of arms. We always had the spirit of a collector. We also have Modern and Contemporary Turkish artworks in our collection.

    Are there any art fairs that you follow regularly? If so, could you tell us what these are?
    I follow Art Basel, Frieze London and Frieze New York regularly.

    Which art fair should a beginner collector visit, if she could visit an art fair abroad only once in a year?
    I believe she should visit Art Basel. Art Basel is a really pleasant stop to see the novelties in contemporary art world and also the masterpieces and classical paintings from around the world.

    What are the most attractive sides of art fairs?
    Art fairs are like supermarkets. They have everything in them. There are many informative events in which you can see many artworks such as sculptures, paintings, installations, films and videos. They are ideal spots to discover new artists and chat with them. Seeing bad works as well as good ones gives the viewers a chance to compare. I believe fairs are excellent places to train the eye.

    In art fairs apart from the exhibitions, there are VIP programs that are open for a small community along with conference programs that are open to the public. Do you ever attend such programs? How do you think these programs benefit art lovers?
    It is absolutely useful to attend conferences. It is essential for people to improve themselves. I find these events meaningful since they are good for learning about the novelties in the art world and they teach looking at current events and problems with a different perspective through art. Some conferences that collectors attend as speakers are useful too.

    Are there any artworks that you think they are not given enough significance in fairs?
    Art fairs in Istanbul are getting more successful every passing year and they are turning into events that international galleries also like to attend. Our young artists’ works also attract attention. However, I would like to see more of sculpture and video works in the fairs.

    Is it true that most of the sales are carried out during the pre-openings in the fairs?
    I have witnessed a couple of times that most works were sold during the preview in the fairs abroad. In fairs in Turkey, I presume, a substantial sale activity is taking place both in the openings and beforehand.

    Is there any advice you can give to beginner collectors for buying an artwork from a fair? Do you have any experiences you would like to share?
    My advice for the ones who have just started collecting would be to visit the fairs for a few times in a row and read the publications and critiques about the artists they are interested in. They should meet the artist in person and have a conversation. They should keep up with international art publications. Visiting a lot of exhibitions, museums and thus training the eye is also essential.

    You consistently and passionately write articles about art. What is the place of writing in your life?
    My articles are published on Milliyet Art Magazine, Vatan and Ekavartonline. I write about international and domestic exhibitions that I visit.Ishare foreign articles that I find importantin my articles. I like writing because it is the way I improve myself and it also gives me a great pleasure to share what I know with other people. Positive comments are motivating me. For instance, a great number of my followers from Bartın, Eskişehir, Ankara write that they have learned a lot from my articles on my Artblog and that makes me very happy. It is essential for my writing tone to be simple, fluent and informative. Therefore writing about art makes up a great portion of my life. It informs my readers while keeping me nourished.


    First piece you acquired: A piece by Adnan Çoker
    The piece you would like to own the most: A work of Andy Warhol
    The type of art that intrigues you: Sculpture and video works
    The meaning of art for you: Art is the meaning of life and it is life itself, it is a never-ending PASSION.