Tales from The Heart Land presents collisions of visual reality and fiction, supposedly culture and nature. The water passing through the city always fascinated me as a child. I always imagined some creatures traveling all around the globe and passing through my city at some point which also inspired me to travel. As a teenager I remember I was coming up with short fiction stories rising up from the sea and soil of Istanbul and as an adult I find myself interpreting this life-long imagination.
The composition of forms and color is never coincidental, whatever reason it originated from… We can call it as rehearsed improvisation. As I work, I let my body, with every single muscle and bone, lead me to the natural direction of giving form to the material by using my muscle memory. The forms are molded with the natural flow of the body and materials I work with. Just as the water sets free and moves in the direction led by nature… and just as it leaves an unknown - yet clear - trace behind.
“Verba volant scriba manent”
October 2nd 2018
The cursive Arabic scripts I have been exposed to in the architecture that surrounded me influenced me as a design student, and I repetitively practiced this art form while I was still studying. Not knowing the meaning of the Arabic words and purely being interested in the esthetics of the forms, I started to create my own marks, intending to make pseudo sentences. As in Chinese traditional practice, after much trial, error and repetition, the final product is often generated spontaneously and in quick gestures.
The set was painted with acrylic paint and ink on raw stretched canvas.
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Das Buch der Schrift Enthaltend die Schriftzeichen und Alphabete aller Zeiten und aller Völker des Erdkreises / Carl Faulmann, 1878
The Story of Writing / Donald Jackson, 1981
In contrast to my general approach for “rehearsed improvisation”, in this set of paintings, -following the key aspect of jazz music improvisations- I try to invent my solo melodies and lines while listening to a specific album or a piece of music, creating my own Circle of fifths. Investigation of the emotion and individualism while observing the collaboration between the space and my materials. While working on the pieces of Notes on improvisation my head wanders, from my hand’s capacity to my imagination.
Each painting correlates with one album or a song that I repetitively listen to or dare I say I study. The result is a passionate collaboration between musicians, the artist, space, time and materials.
New Faces – New Sounds / by Gil Mellé, 1953
Concert by the Sea / by Erroll Garner, 1955
Saxophone Colossus / by Sonny Rollins, 1956
Afro Harping / Dorothy Ashby, 1968
Now He Sings, Now He Sobs / by Chick Corea, 1968
Bitches Brew / by Miles Davis 1970
Lô Borges / by Lô Borges, 1972
Head Hunters / by Herbie Hancock, 1973
Tonic / by Medeski Martin & Wood, 2000
Anything Goes / by Brad Mehldau, 2004
Tuesday Wonderland / by Esbjörn Svensson Trio, 2006
Let's Go Everywhere / children's music by Medeski Martin & Wood, 2008
Alone Together / by Karriem Riggins, 2012
Film of Life / Tony Allen, 2014
The Paris Session / by The Touré-Raichel Collective, 2014
Black Focus / by Yussef Kamaal, 2016
“Masked, I advance.”
― Rene Descartes
People commonly associate masks and masking with negative emotions… They hide, they scare, they deceive, they entrap, but in their most primitive entity -even though there are regional diversities- they also give power, they protect, they entertain and in my perspective they create fiction identities like our daily identities.
Involving long years in stage arts and filming, I created a long-term relationship with masks, using them to tell my stories or to take myself out of sight to avoid the distraction or to create an impartial alien. These latest masks I am constructing out of my paintings’ cut-out pieces, give me the opportunity to think* on our “made up” identities and how we become attached to them, they are also a representation of our diversity.
The continuous translations embedded in my work -from my ideas to the paint to a cut up and a collage in the form of a new mask (or a sculpture)- I trust the painting-born work will survive as a mask and even gain in their value in this process.
*To think in the period of seclusion as the title/quote suggests.