1 ::: Why are you an artist Gizem?
Art makes me free. After I started painting,
I realized that I have never been truly
free before. I am always constrained by
the society, at school, during work, during
social relations. Everything else is restrictive
and imprisoning, while painting is like
nice clean air so that you can breathe
+2 ::: Could you tell us some more about
I like to distort the shapes. I use a
lot of colors. The best times are when
I can save and buy a very nice color,
and then I get so excited about using
that color that the whole painting would
include that color in some sort of mixture.
I draw the shapes and you can see what
is going on in the painting, but to me
the most important side of it is the use
of color. I also like to repaint a canvas.
I have a lot of fun, because I can see
things differently. For example, the other
day, I decided to cover up a canvas that
had tea glasses. I turned the canvas upside
down and I saw a big nose, so the tea
glass in the previous painting became
a nose for the next painting. I absolutely
love it. I guess what I can say about
my painting is that I am experimenting
a lot with shapes and colors.
+3 ::: Turkey
is very rich in culture and history, does
this influence your art at all?
I have a painting called Istanbul Houses.
And a painting in which a girl is dreaming
of Istanbul. The culture influences me
because there has been all the tile painting,
with wonderful blues and whites, and the
miniatures, which require so much effort.
I want to paint so many things that are
related to the Turkish culture. For example,
I want to paint the coffee mug. In Turkey,
people drink lots of coffee, and after
they finish drinking, they turn the mug
upside down. Then they try to 'read' the
different images that appear inside the
mug. It's a lot of fun, and some people
tell you long stories just by looking
into these images. I want to paint the
images so that the old wise neighbor can
look at my painting and tell me my future.
+4 ::: What artists have influenced you,
really like Cezanne,
and I like Matisse,
because they feel very warm to me, as
if I know them. These days I'm also very
much into Giacommetti. I actually saw
in a dream that I was in the 'City Square'
with all of his people.
+5 ::: What do you do for fun (besides
I read. I like
fiction but nowadays I read biographies.
I have just read the biography of Dora
Maar (by James Lord), of Simone de Beauvoir(by
Deirdre Bair) and of Edward Said (an autobiography).
All were excellent. I also go and see
a lot of movies. I live in a town in which
there is a wonderful non-profit movie
theater that shows movies from all over
::: What inspires you to paint and how
do you keep motivated when things get
tough in the studio?
So far, things haven't gotten tough for
me. I am very free while painting, actually
I painted for a very long time without
showing them to anybody, which I think
let me grow in this freedom and now it
is very established. After a couple weeks
of making a painting, I get bored of it
and I more often than not cover my paintings.
But I find this a liberating experience
as well. A very close friend of mine calls
it 'creative destruction' --which I hope
::: How have you handled the business
side of being an artist?
I haven't tried to handle this side so
far, I am just starting. I know it's hard,
I hope it doesn't take the pleasure away.
::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I am hoping to be in a studio that has
a view of the Bosphorus,
::: Could you talk about your latest series
of paintings and what you are trying to
achieve with them?
latest paintings are mainly inspired by
my daily activities. In a rainy day, I
paint a woman
with an umbrella. If I'm not in
the mood to do anything, I paint a woman
sitting and thinking. I am just representing
my emotions through the paintings.
::: What advice would you give to an artist
just starting out?
I am an artist who is just starting out
and I don't have much advice to give.
It seems to me like there will be a lot
of rejections, and sometimes people won't
even be interested in what you are doing
to spend the time to reject them. But
at the end of the day, the painting is
for itself and it's a nice shield to protect
you from the world and from the people.
I would suggest that the artist should
go and paint more, the more disappointing
the outside world.