Inside the Studio

Ahmet Murat Karayilan

Favorite material to work with?

What is your medium?
Mixed media.

What themes do you pursue?
I am interested in mythology -especially those behind the constellations- and philosophy. My art is influenced by Heidegger. Each figure of mine is ‘Dasein’: aware of existing in time temporarily and feeling one’s existence constantly. In my paintings, the figures being alone represent the human being’s “situation of being on your own” which is the obligatory requirement to comprehend ‘time’ as pure. My figures are mostly white or black. They become clearer while not being there. Not being there reinforces their visibility. Like a missing piece of the puzzle. So where are they? Somewhere in their minds.

Sketchbook? Do you use one? What type?
Yes, I use sketchbook.  I usually start by making quick sketches with notes.

Most important tool you use?

Where is your studio?
I turned one of the rooms in my house into a studio space. I have to live with my painting during the process.  I have to be able to work on it whenever I want.

Process> Concept or Process<Concept
From concept to process. But I make decisions while painting. I like that uncertain process.

Why do you make art?
Making art makes me respect myself.

Art school or self-taught?
Art school. I have a bachelor of fine arts degree from Izmir Dokuz Eylul University.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I prefer to work in silence.

What’s around the corner from your place?

Favorite sound?

Favorite smell?

Where can we find you outside the studio?
In my car.

Who are your favorite writers?

What could you not do without?

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
I would like to be a watchmaker.

Would you rather be able to make a living as an artist now or become famous after you die?
I’d rather be able to make a living as an artist now. ‘Now’ is the power of me.

Would you rather see your art on a t-shirt or on a billboard?
I’d rather see my art on a billboard.

Astrology or astronomy?

What do you collect?
I collect mechanical watches. I love the self-winding mechanism.

Favorite contemporary artist?
David Hockney.

A piece of art you love?
The Milkmaid by Vermeer.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
The Milkmaid.

Which living or dead artist would you most like to meet?
I’m not sure. Schiele, Michelangelo, Hieronymous Bosch, Rothko, Picasso, Giacometti, Hockney, Camille Claudel… They are all great artist and very interesting persons.

Use anything other than paint?
Sure. For example, tea.

Oil or acrylic?
Mostly acrylic. I work fast, so paint must dry faster.

Photo references?
Yes, especially for birds.

Is painting dead?

What do you wear while you paint?
When I want to paint, I just start working. I don’t care what I wear.

Painting Inside or Outside?
Always inside.