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Oil on Canvas

But there is much more to the art of Burçin Başar

January 28, 2018  |  by Creative Armenia


Creative Armenia - AGBU Fellow Burçin Başar has a strong philosophical approach to art and seeks inspiration in art history - and her own. Born in Istanbul, her paintings have been showcased in Turkey, Europe and United States.  

CA: When did you first start painting?

BB: It's going to be an obvious answer, but I've always painted. I always said I would be an artist, and I took painting courses in middle school and high school and before studying art at the academy.

CA: How did you decide to pursue art as a career path?


BB: After entering the academy, I already knew that this would be my career, but this is a very difficult path and there is never a way to guarantee. You need to work hard, be stable, and stubborn.


CA: Your first solo exhibition Retrace traces your connection to your family’s history during the Genocide. Does history play an important role in your creations?


BB: Retrace was completely constructed from the events that were described in the village in Malatya, it’s like my family story. My second exhibition, Ravenous, takes the Israeli rhyme Chad Gadya as its starting point and addresses the struggle for existence in a system where the air, the earth, the plants, the animals and human beings eat and digest each other, as well as the fact that we create new chaos over and over again while searching for new systems.


The cat that eats the lamb, the dog that chokes the cat, the stick that beats the dog, the fire that burns the stick, the water that puts out the fire, the ox that drinks the water, the butcher that slaughters the ox, the death angel that takes the butcher’s life...How long will such madness continue this way? And so, everything starts all over again!


CA: Have you decided how you are going to use your Creative Armenia - AGBU Fellowship to develop your career?   


BB: Some on material expenses, some on travel to see museums and galleries.

CA: You say that art is a way of “narration” for you. Please elaborate.

BB: Art is for me a material, a way of narration, a reckoning, a way of expression, a challenge, a way of suspecting, understanding... It is a living organism that talks. The infinity where we move around and have mutual connection and gain more information the more we move and experience. As I work, I ask questions, and look for answers. Sometimes I accept the ready answers and direct them, and sometimes I don’t accept them. Sometimes it does not suffice to just paint — I question the material itself, the three dimensions, and the present day itself. I try to keep track of the contemporary, with all its political problems, to read and follow art all around the world, while continuing to dig artistically and philosophically.


CA: What kind of materials do you use for your artworks?


BB: Generally I use oil on canvas, but I’m experimenting with all kinds of materials and techniques.

CA: Who or what are some of your creative influences?


BB: The whole history of art. The painting, sculpture, of course the cinema, the literature, and the music — I need it all, including the contemporary.


CA: What is your long-term vision for your artistic career?


BB: To be recognized internationally.

CA: What are the advantages and challenges of making your kind of art in Istanbul?

BB: The more universal approach to this question is, I think art is very difficult everywhere and in every way. At the moment in Istanbul there are lots of galleries and collectors, so young artists have a lot of support. Many good curators are doing serious work to publicize artists. I think if you are serious and work hard you can do something.

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