Mehmet Çevik touches upon the dream world of the audience with his paintings produced within the cycle of “imagination, reality and the present time”. His colorful palette and the figures depicted without any motive to resemble reality can be considered as reminders and stimuli. We had a short conversation with Çevik on his production process and his recent works on art50.net.
Mehmet Çevik completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Anadolu University, Faculty of Fine Arts, at the Department of Painting. He has won many awards in painting competitions, he lives and works in Istanbul.
Apart from the color palette that you use in your paintings, your figure abstractions are quite remarkable as well. Could you briefly explain the process of these imaginary worlds that you create in your paintings?
I am not disturbed to encourage the viewer to the dream worlds by the images I create in my paintings. In fact, it will be an enjoyable game to reshape the images they see according to their imagination. I think “imagining” is a game that we all play from childhood to adulthood when we have the opportunity to get away from the boring sides of the world. To imagine offers a space of freedom in virtual reality. We know this directly and indirectly, but only getting to know does not help. Because our lives and memories are full enough. So I believe, reminders and stimulants are useful. How nice it will be if I could create a modest awareness through my paintings that are stimulants and reminders for these imagination opportunities!
The production process of my paintings realizes within the cycle of “imagination, reality and the present time”. I can say that it is like a kind of a trance, accompanied by the use of materials, plastic anxieties, and instant story-image relationship. There are so many dynamics in the production process while constructing my paintings. Therefore, it is not possible to talk about a precise one.
I am asking this question to be able to relate to your paintings with yourself; how much color diversity and liveliness do you have in your daily life?
Although I have been living in an urban place for years, I still have a naive aspect that I have not lost completely and tried to protect. I guess I demonstrate behavior tendencies like rural people more than urban ones. Rural residents have more hunger for color than people living in cities. At least it used to be like this before the 2000s. Color can be a stimulant and can annoy sometimes. There are not so many colors presented to our perceptions of nature. Often, I have guests in my studio, these visitors are bees and butterflies who think of it as spring. I even had twice off-season bee stings. But it does not matter if I have minor accidents while painting. Colors are good. They give joy to life. We need them…
It seems like there are written stories behind some of your paintings. Do you have any interest in writing?
Sometimes I think I have a serious potential to write and to explain myself with writing. I seem to hesitate to roll up my sleeves to that world. It seems as if the act of writing does not keep up with my speed of thinking and dreaming. It looks a bit bulky and primitive … And it sounds very decisive. I guess unconsciousness creates a serious area of freedom. I don’t want to be deprived of this. I am more than happy with my passivity and passivism.
The artworks that are recently placed on art50.net are mostly portraits. How did you come up with these imaginative characters?
Yes, there are too many faces. We need a lot of loneliness to produce and create. And this situation increases the severity of loneliness gradually. From the moment we were born and saw our mother’s face, serious habits to see faces do initiate. Both instinctively and emotionally. But on the one hand, we see so many faces; a selectivity and desire can occur for the faces we want to see. We even have tendencies to get bored and change our own face. I can say that we are very faceted both in character and form. In these complicated situations, the tendency to deformation, abstraction, and interpretation emerges while constructing my paintings.
If you were given a huge amount of budget to buy only one piece of art, which artwork would you buy?
If I have such a budget, I would like to imagine first. Because I think it is not enough to be rich and to designate a price for the value of the artists I like. For now, I want to build my dreams on my potential productions.
Click for the artist page.
Interview: Sena Arcak Bağcılar