Interview: Özge Gürkan
Luca Curci talks with Özge Gürkan during MIXING IDENTITIES, third appointment of CANVAS ART FAIR, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space in London.
Özge Gürkan is a Turkish painter who works on Abstract Expressionism. Her artworks are created with intention, but the effect is that of random impulse. The artist lets her moods determine the colors, the directions and location of paint that she splatters on a canvas on the ground. Gestural abstraction is clearly evident in Özge Gürkan’s artworks which feature vigorous and spontaneous movements through seemingly chaotic marks.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Özge Gürkan – Art is where you reveal yourself, your desires, your fears, your weaknesses, and your whole inner world without censorship. So art for me, is freedom. Being limited to one thing, one technique, repeating or imitating what already happened does not support my understanding of art. As we are all unique creatures, uniqueness should be the key of art.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
OG – Actual art achieves its purpose at the point where we can express ourselves freely, move beyond the teachings, act with our own language, technique and manifesto. I have always followed that path and still am moving forward. Painting is actually a state of meditation for me. I can say that I have completely returned to myself, to my inner world, that I do not act with any thought and plan, that I have stripped of all my identities, my simplest and freest form, during my work. It is full of intense feelings and thoughts, long hours of working creatively with myself. My only ritual is to be aligned with my soul.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
OG – My drawing inspiration is always from my inner world, my heart, and my feelings. My muse is always my soul. But I should tell you that love, rebellion and freedom run in my veins so they are the significant characteristics of my art.
LC – What is your creative process like?
OG – As I stated abstractly in my paintings, there are some chains, cages, obstacles imposed on us that we can not break. I interpret the feelings of people suppressed by prohibitions with cages and chains in my works. Under the layers, I reflect the colors of women. We have to break those cages and chains to reveal our inner colors. In my paintings, I actually describe them abstractly and I also present my inner world. This is the strongest feeling which had significant influence in my work and I express this in my paintings. Every layer you see in my pictures is about me. About my essence… Actually, I still do not know the limits of this myself. I have many colors, some are visible and very close to the surface, some are still very deep, and I discover these layers with my paintings every day and enjoy what I discover. But I can say that my most dominant mood in this period is the feeling of rebellion and revolt against the pressures and restrictions imposed on us women, without giving up my own essence.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
OG – I am an abstract expressionist artist. In my paintings, I love to make people think, feel the messages I want to give and push their own limits. Technically, it is my passion to create unusual colors, textures and layers by mixing different materials. I don’t like to be limited by any theme or subject so I continue to study different subjects, techniques, materials and art history.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
OG – The societies and the cities they live in determine roles for women and people. Trying to live in accordance with these roles the cities they are in, sometimes the women feel under pressure and her freedom restricted. There is a different inner world within all this waiting to emerge. My work also emphasizes this.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
OG – Your vision of art, the support provided by you to meet people and contemporary art, the opportunity you present for international artists to show their work is so valuable to me and to be able to introduce my work to international visitors, to follow the recent impressive work of art from all over the world, to catchup with the new visions, to meet with art lovers and to be a part of this magical ecosystem is priceless. As an artist working on different identities and feelings, I feel the theme of this year, so I am happy to participate with my painting titled ‘Subliminal’. My work titled Subliminal reflects the cage of a woman but at the same time shows the strength and glamour she carries within herself.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
OG – I sincerely think that this is a huge opportunity for artists. Feelings, artwork and creativity is not limited with boundaries. The stories in the artwork do not have any languages so it can connect with its audience at the exhibition which is open to all art seekers from all around the world. The exhibition brings international opportunities.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
OG – Yes, very much indeed and thank you very much for all your valuable cooperation. Being in the platform with so many artists from so many different disciplines from more than 40 countries was an exciting opportunity.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
OG – I am absolutely very happy with your services. All You can do more is have more exhibitions and I would always be honored to participate. Thank you very much.