‘The logic behind it, and its aesthetic timelessness, drew me towards abstract geometry’. – Ogulcan Kus, one of the up-and-coming artists of the dynamic Carre d’artistes gallery situated in the heart of Beyoglu, Istanbul.
“We believe that art is for everyone and everyone can become an art collector. Art cannot belong to the upper class only. Art is here to be enjoyed by everyone.” – Seval Dakman Araç, the founder-director of Carre d’Artistes İstanbul.
Carre d’Artistes Istanbul is a part of an art gallery chain dedicated to making art accessible and affordable. With the motto of democratizing art, they have resided in the heart of Istanbul for more than 6 years.
“When I found out about the concept of Carre d’Artistes I was really drawn to it; I thought “This is something that I should be working on, making it possible for art to reach literally everyone!” Araç, the founder-director of the Istanbul branch, continues: “All of our artists are living artists, and perhaps many of them changed their route towards the arts, and faced many difficulties. It was a great opportunity for me to allow the Istanbul audience to meet with global artists who believe in the same ideals as we do.”
Carre D’Artistes gallery constantly embrace new artists and they are dedicated to making those new artists more visible on the global stage. Ogulcan Kus is one of them.
Ogulcan Kus was born in 1993 in Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Media and Studio Art in 2016 Kus’s works vary in medium from acrylic, encaustic, sculpture, and film – combining postmodernist aesthetics with a bold awareness of his Turkish identity and American pop-culture.
Kus has shown his work internationally in exhibitions including the “Istanbul Biennial” in Istanbul, Turkey; “VSAs in Residence” in MOMA PS1, Queens, New York; and “Versailles Now” at Joseph Gross Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Kus’s film work has been featured at the “Life is Short” Film Festival, in Los Angeles, and Beacon Independent Film Festival in New York. Kus currently lives and works in Istanbul.
Quick-fire questions with Ogulcan Kus
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember wanting to be “self-employed” – which I thought at the time meant I could change jobs as I pleased, like being a firefighter for a month and a fisherman for the next.
How did your art journey start, and where do you see it evolving to?
I was mostly interested in music and playing drums but took an art class in high school, and my art teacher at the time really geared me towards it. I can see it potentially branching out into and encapsulating my other interests like music, performance and building spaces rather than continuing solely with a traditional painting practice.
Which artists have inspired your artistic journey/do you look up to, and was there a figure in your personal life who introduced you to art?
It’s mostly groups of artists like the Chicago Imagists or the YBAs. Also Andy Warhol, always. My earliest memories of people who drew me into art are my elementary school art teachers.
How do you describe your style/work?
I’m still a bit insecure about describing my work; I’d rather show it to people than talk about it.
How do you find inspiration?
By keeping track of things that stand out to me and which I’m drawn to visually. Also taking a different route to work or home or other places, switching things up.
What is the greatest piece of advice you received, and what advice would you give to other aspiring artists?
“Keep it physical.” In college I used to think and talk about ideas all the time which kind of crippled me.. my mentor at the time told me this and it really stuck with me, especially when I’m dwelling in unnecessary details, trying to perfect something in my head before I physically start it. I would give the same advice to any over-thinkers.
What in life gives you happiness and hope?
What do you wish to communicate through your art?
Sometimes nothing, other times lots of things.
We understand that you received your education in New York; What inspires you about American pop culture?
I think the excitement, simplicity and the visual boldness inspire me the most.
What steered you towards abstract geometry?
The logic behind geometry, and how it looks timeless.
For more of Ogulcan Kus’s work visit Carre d’Artistes Gallery. <3