What can you tell us about your art?
It’s difficult and complicated to answer this question. I see creation as the result of a kind of inner explosion that takes place in response to social, economic and political issues (memories and events that have had a lasting effect on me tend to get stuck somewhere in the back of my head, and they reappear as I work). This process is like a fight, standing in front of a work I want to create that deals with something I have witnessed or read about… But it’s a fight without violence; it’s a war in which different hues of red replace blood. I use all kinds of materials and techniques. I prefer to utilize a variety of sizes, forms, materials, printing techniques (such as silkscreen and stencil). It makes me feel free, and breaks me down into my constituent parts. Street art, posters and graffiti are essential for my art. In a way, I too am creating my own walls, demolishing them and wearing them out, then creating them anew.
What is the starting point for your recent “wall” themed works?
My most recent works are based on textures from urban walls. It all began by making photographs of torn and worn out posters and graffiti, which were then used in creating silkscreen prints. The source material consists of various political posters, old and new; and left-wing posters from the 60s, the 70s, the 80s… Walls in cities are like open exhibition spaces in which we convey our opposing views on social, political issues. There’s no fixed duration for this kind of show as it depends on how fast these surfaces wear down under the influence of natural conditions, how they transform as layers of text, posters and graffiti are added on top of one another. My recent works are based on my observations of these processes.
What is it like to be an artist who lives in Izmir and works with a gallery in Istanbul? Are you planning to join the international art scene?
It feels as if I’m a sports player playing away. You work hard in your studio, and when the time is due, everything gets wrapped up and sent to the gallery. It’s an exciting process — an odd feeling comes over you when you finally see your work on the gallery walls: it’s provoking, creepy, adrenaline-inducing but at the same time a joy. It’s a much more calm and peaceful life in Izmir compared to Istanbul, and it helps me focus on my work. I’m happy to be living in Izmir. Istanbul is naturally the center for art as it is for many other things. It’s a step towards the international art platform, which I’d like to become a part of. I think this is an accomplishment that motivates both the artist and his work. However I’m also quite aware that this is a long, hard road (sometimes I think about it and freak out, and then calm down again). I know I’ll be in the right place when it’s time, and I’m trying not to rush it, and be patient about it.