Ayşegül Karakaş and Her Turned-Around, Mysterious Figures

Ayşegül Karakaş is a member of the Art50.net family since day one. We talked with Karakaş about the details of her artistic journey as her Relocation series confronts the viewer with an understanding of nature filled with tension.

When did you begin to paint? How did you decide to study painting?

It might sound too cliché; but I have been painting for as long as I can remember. While preparing for the high school admissions, I had already and firmly decided this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had understood that I wanted to paint, to study painting and to live like this. I studied graphic design in high school and I had already set my goal, so I prepared myself for the fine arts exams after that, and I passed.

How did living in Izmir affect your artistic career and your creativity?

Living in Izmir has both positive and negative aspects. Which one outweighs the other depends on the artist. At the end of the day, it is my town of origin; my family and friends are here, here I feel good and thus I feel more at ease and can be more productive. There is no way of knowing whether my career would have benefitted from living in Istanbul; but I think it would surely have had some alternative contributions to it.

Ayşegül Karakaş - Yer Değiştirme 23
Ayşegül Karakaş – Relocation 23

How did the Relocation series come into being?

It emerged while I was still a student. During our senior year, we were expected to conduct research and to come up with a project, and I was constantly trying new things. I did a few sketches that my professors liked and supported. Then I did a series of small works; now I continue working on the same series but going through constant change and progress.

Why are the figures always turned around? Why don’t wee see any faces?

This is about the series’ main theme, “dream, fantasy and reality”. It does not matter who the figure is or what gender it has. I depict the figures with no identity so that they do not overshadow what is truly important in my project.

Although the main theme of the series does not change, we can sense that you embark on various technical experimentations throughout the way. For example, in your recent works we can identify changes related to the angle you approach the figure from, the places you choose to depict and your color palette. What would you like to say about this?

I agree; but I think there is no radical change in terms of technique. I do not plan a sharp transition anyway. I myself have changed and developed during this project, thus my frames have changed as well. I have always loved playing with colors; but these days I have also been experimenting with alternative frames. My painting technique changes depending on the specific frame. Some works turn out to be more picturesque; others emerge with a more realistic attitude. I decide which path to take depending on the particular frame and on how I want the painting to be finished at that very moment.

Are there any other projects you are currently working on? Do you plan to share them with the public?

Ayşegül Karakaş - Yer Değiştirme 26
Ayşegül Karakaş – Relocation 26

Who are the artists and what are the art events you regularly follow in Turkey and abroad?

I will not mention specific names; I am influenced by everything that has a contributes to make. I think these people do not necessarily have to be famous painters or star directors. On the other hand, I try to follow all the important contemporary art exhibitions and competitions in Turkey, including Akbank Sanat, Istanbul Biennial and Mamut Art Project. I really enjoy following Art50.net’s Artlog page for the latest news; I find it especially useful for keeping up with the art news from around the world.

How did your paths cross with Art50.net? How did it affect your career?

It actually happened thanks to Marcus Graf. We had worked together for an exhibition at Plato Sanat. Before the website’s launch, I met the Art50.net team with Graf’s suggestion and we decided to collaborate. It had several positive contributions to my career; for instance, it made my paths cross with the Büyükkuşoğlu family, one of Turkey’s leading collector families. I also became part of the Casa dell’Arte artist residency program thanks to Art50.net, which contributed to my individual and artistic development alike, and thanks to which I became part of an outstanding group exhibition. Moreover, it is very important for me to be able to work with a gallery and team that I feel comfortable with. Finally, Art50.net is a constantly active, developing and changing platform, and this affects me positively as well.

Your views on online art platforms?

Even though I initially approached this idea with caution, I think it has an important role in today’s art world. At the end of the day, in the age we live in, technology infiltrates our daily lives and the physical and the virtual worlds are intertwined. Online galleries have the important mission of increasing the artists’ visibility as well as making them more accessible to the viewers. What is more, online platforms contribute to the artist’s international visibility as much as they do to the local one. While it is extremely difficult to reach art enthusiasts around the world without being featured in an international exhibition or art fair, thanks to these online platforms it becomes possible to reach the art enthusiasts abroad and to even sell your works to them. This has been Art50.net’s biggest contribution to my career.

Your projects in the near future?

In the near future, I intend to embark on new experiments around this project. If the results are as I imagine them to be, I want to share them with the public as soon as possible. On the other hand, it has been quite a while since my works have been featured in an exhibition; this is why I plan to work on projects targeting specific exhibitions or competitions these days.


Click for the artist’s page.

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