Artist in Focus: Pinar Akbaba
Pinar is a Turkish artist, who studied at the Istanbul University and since then is working on paintings that express and look for freedom. She is looking for an ‘escape from the rules that social life built for us, living this life as how we wish and to articulate the dilemma between reality and the dream world that I would like to build’. She finds abstract art to be the perfect tool for expressing emotions and the intangible.
Hi Pinar, could you name a painting that is a source of inspiration for you?
“Scream” from Edward Munch is a source of inspiration for me. In “Scream”, you can feel all the feelings that the artist would like to express. This is the key point of my artworks. Combination of feelings and subconscious.
When you say ‘Scream’ by Munch is an inspiration as it epitomizes what you are trying to express, does the painting also represent the frustration of not being able create work quite as you would wish at times?
In his painting, Munch desired to show scream of the nature in the form of human figure. Therefore, he made concrete the emotion to art-lovers through a person’s expression. I love it because of the concrete expression in the painting instead of showing my feelings.
What do you feel the aim of your art is?
Aim of my art is release the feelings and set the subconscious free. Believe it brings freedom. Why? Sometimes you do not have chance to tell everything to everyone. By the help of art, you can picture all the feeling by the help of paints.
Do you find there’s a discrepancy between what you prefer in your art and what your public finds more appealing?
I cannot say there is a discrepancy between my art and public taste; preferences vary from person to person. That is the reason there is no one point of view in the art. It is the best example of the universality of art.
What question about your work do you get most often?
“What would like to explain in this artwork?” This is the question I get very often. My artworks explain feeling like love, passion, betray, happiness, sadness. Creating composition on the chosen feeling.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
The best technique is setting your feelings and your hands free. Hands are controlled by your feelings. The important thing is to set them free while you are expressing your emotions. The key to increased creativity is working without having any fear of making a mistake.
Do you prefer to have projects lined up or do you prefer to work within more freedom?
For sure lined up projects will help you to progress more systematically. However, as an artist, you have to balance it. Working under pressure, thinking about dead-line of the projects, etc. directly affects the creativity. So I believe an artist has to work freely but always thinking about the next steps.
What do you do when you don’t know how to proceed in a work?
First, I go out and take a deep breath. For a while, I should isolate myself from that work. Then I make myself a cup of coffee and take a look to my work certain period of time. If still I cannot proceed to that work, I am considering I have to stay away from that, I put it away somewhere in my studio to work on it later. If I feel energetic, I take a fresh canvas and I begin to work on it. If not, the day ends for the painting.
And how long does it usually take to finish a painting? Do you know from the start what you are aiming for or is it an intuitive process?
Actually, it totally depends on my mood. Sometimes it takes 6 months, sometimes just 3 days.
From time to time, I feel I cannot control my hands, and I prefer to work freely- without thinking beforehand. However, mainly I specify a theme and the topics about the theme. They become the basis of my main works. But sometimes when I started to paint, even if I take these sketch as a base, I come up with a new idea and add it to my work.
Pinar had a number of exhibitions in Istanbul and has galleries showing her work in Portugal and US as well. Her work is expressive, her approach to work thoughtful. Using deep colours, often blues with bright colours, her work can bring depth and calm to any space.