It is tricky for my untamed brain to focus on a single topic and go deep into it. I find myself too young to settle down. Adding to it the perplexing situation of my nation, I feel overwhelmed by all the thoughts and ideas that come to me as an artist. Looking at all the paths I have never set my foot on, the places I haven’t explored, and the people I haven’t met, it feels like I am only at the beginning of my adventure.
But I need to start somewhere. After the pandemic, I stopped painting in the city to keep myself and others safe. I began to explore the outskirts, where the city meets the roads characterized by chaotic streets with weirdly old-looking new cars, strange roadside mosques, dazzling gas stations, and pitiful unfinished buildings.
These strange places of an underdeveloped megacity were what I thought and painted about because, as a site of investigation, they encapsulate how bewildered other members of my generation and I have come to feel. In my view, this bewilderment is visible in how our buildings and cities look. There is no apparent direction in where we are going. Everything seemed confusing, and I tried to represent this entangled state.
While working on these paintings, I had to relocate. I found a new place downtown, and I was busy moving. My life paused for about two months. The state of my mind changed as I moved from a tiny apartment to a spacious one. I stopped going outside and started painting in my studio.
Observing People Beholding Art
Everyone was vaccinated, so the galleries and museums began working without restrictions. People were thirsty for art and entertainment, so these places became crowded. I went to galleries and museums every week. I felt a new form of energy coming back, and I liked it. I developed an interest in people looking and interacting with artworks. So I started to draw and paint them.
Most of my paintings before were landscapes without people in them. Now I know that I want to have people in my paintings. I know it’s challenging for me, so I must face it.
Hungry for Exploration
I want to paint more freely. I feel like I have to follow some rules. I don’t want to disobey those rules, but I want to feel superior to them. That’s what I call confidence. I also work in a tiny bubble of techniques and materials. I want to expand my horizon.
Thirsty for Criticism
As becoming more experienced, I now understand the golden value of criticism. I am thirsty for it now. I show my work to my friends and ask them for their feedback. It is marvelous how blind one can be to his work and how helpful it is when somebody gives you an honest comment.