“Could you make a painting of happiness, Abidin?” Asked Nazim Hikmet in a poem to the artist Abidin Dino.
Being an immigrant, my starting point has always been the hope, freedom and recklessness behind starting all over, and the power and warmth I get from my memories. A continuous search for change and curiosity for the new experiences I willingly ended up moving to the other side of the Atlantic. I believe all the interactions and stimulations brought by my passion for relocation, and longing for what was left behind constantly feed my creative process.
What started as creating a visual diary with my commitment to making record, in time brought me to this point in my art where it evolved into exploring our never ending quest for happiness and satisfaction.
My recent work is about the fleeing moments of pure joy and happiness. I create paintings addressing the ephemerality of happiness while using casual objects like balloons as a metaphor for our short lived contentment.
It’s about that place in time of forgetting everything beyond that mutual condensed emotional paradise. These precious moments are very rare, yet at the same time, it is surprising how spontaneous and easy they can be. I recreate it through personal memorabilia while dealing with longing, and craving for emotional comfort.
Through oil painting I depict frozen moments in time which urges the viewer to think about the moments before and after as well. Painting lets me to live these fleeting moments in detail and throughly over a course of weeks even months. I use energetic saturated colors that I enjoy besides suggestive details and gestures that triggers both my memory and various possible scenarios.
The whimsical and nonessential quality of the material goods I include in my work questions our drive for pleasure. I want to create a niche of fantasy, where both the figures in the paintings and I as the painter can be just like a child innocent and playful, carefree and bold. That hopeful child, not smashed by all the tragedies and disappointments yet. A playground far away from all the darkness surrounding us outside and inside, blossomed through sincerity and trust. Surrounded with balloons, toys, or candies the adults immerse themselves into reckless joy and delightful intimacy defining contentment. But they are still aware of the short lifespan of that perfect harmony deemed to crinkle like a balloon soon.