“My paintings usually aim to one up the given system: be it a shadowy, death smelling cityscape or mundane depictions of countryside. I like to stir it up that base material (r-e-a-l-i-t-y) and give it a new life, make it more real.”
Emre’s art will be on exhibit in Chicago from April 16 – May 20, 2011 at the Hungryman Gallery, please show your support if you will be in Chicago during the month of April and May and check out Emre’s work.
“HungryMan Gallery Chicago presents the paintings of Emre Kocagil in his first solo exhibition, SIGH NATURE. Drawing from the individual and collective experience of nature and the domestic, the work confronts us with familiar visions that slowly reveal themselves to be fantastical and otherworldly. Kocagil’s paintings point to a hyper-reality where meaning and perception are exhausted; experience is in its lonesome glory and cynicism prevails. These landscapes come alive through the vigorous and instinctual use of color and measure the relationship between a singular vision and cultural definitions of what living is all about.”
2135 N. Rockwell
Chicago, IL 60647
Opening Reception 7-11p, April 16
Closing Reception 4-7p, May 20
Emre, can you tell me more about your show coming up in April, *Sigh Nature at Hungryman Gallery in Chicago?
It will be my first chance to take over the walls of a space alone, something I had been looking forward to for a couple of years now. The work stems from my emotional stance to growing older and challenges of composing the essentials for a sustainable mental state. Paintings themselves are bright and loud and play around with a “tropical neo-waste” color scheme, I have been having a weak spot for over the last year. In a social sense though, this show presents a good opportunity to connect with some of the many exciting fellow artists and organizers in Chicago.
Picasso said, ‘Everything you can imagine is real.’ I have personally always been a firm believer of this … how do you feel that your imagination becomes reality in the art you create?
Considering most of what I make is first visualized within a hazy moment in my head, I’d have to agree completely with grand Pablo. What he is talking about is essentialy the reason most painters remain strongly attached to their medium. A friend of mine once described this as having a certain “trust in wonder”, and that’s wonderfully accurate. My paintings usually aim to one up the given system: be it a shadowy, death smelling cityscape or mundane depictions of countryside. I like to stir it up that base material (r-e-a-l-i-t-y) and give it a new life, make it more real.
I read that you are also a musician, what instruments do you play and how is creating music different from creating art?
I play a classical guitar mainly, but am also into a whole range of acoustic instruments. I have dabbled with electronics and noise in the past, but to me strings, keys, vibration is a better toolkit to utilize. I write music to this day, based on some quick poetry. Musically it’s a blend of Southern European/Balkan melodies with contemporary troubadour freakouts. I am always hoping to release more music in the future, when I have more time. As far as creation goes, the two are similar. Though, playing an instrument and searching for the right notes is a lot more forgiving than layering paint and mark making. So you pay for your mistakes more while painting, but the search goes on and on.
What was your inspiration for ‘You were a lighthouse?’
It was the idea that all our heads are filled with thousands of lights and they are flickering about in the midst of a dark, hard to navigate socio-political maze. And therefore it is possibly an ode to meeting somebody alike.
If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
Dead: Jesus to slap. Zappa to discuss with. Cobain to embrace. Van Gogh to promote. Rumi to listen to. Salinger, just to shake his hand. Frida Kahlo to party with. Carl Sagan to get philosophical with…
Alive: Julian Casablancas and Bjork, would make a good table for three. (And some sleek, tasteful, professional types to pick the wine).
Having been born in Istanbul, do you think your global perspective influences your art?
I can safely say I have seen things and people which are competely foreign to those around me in United States. I am constantly aware of all the imagery, soundbites, flavors, social pressures and exiguities that I have witnessed and was born into. When you choose to be an immigrant, you carry that baggage with you for a lifetime. However, my art and my whole reasoning in life shoots for a more universal feeling and understanding. So it’s something that gives me more perspective, but I must blend it all and relate to what I experience now.