Today we’d like to introduce you to Sibel Kocabasi.
Sibel, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My story is a complicated one. I did not become an artist as a little child; it took me years to develop my skills. I learned these skills by following my interests and through art education. I originally considered taking the path of a writer rather than a visual artist—reading books was a lot cheaper than buying art supplies back in the 60’s 70’s in Istanbul, Turkey, where I grew up. I had a difficult childhood and had to postpone my high school education until my late twenties. I had to start all over again, at the time having a husband and a child. Afterward, I attended a fine arts college and studied traditional Turkish arts, focusing on illumination of manuscripts and rug design and weaving, and found I was more of a designer than an artist. Right after I graduated, I won the Green Card Lottery, and my family and I moved to America. At the time I spoke zero English, and after almost five difficult years working at minimum-wage jobs, I moved to Florida and restarted my art career. Almost a year later I was in the master of fine arts program at Florida Atlantic University. That was my total turning point to commit to living as an artist.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I believe that artists have the privilege of being risk takers, and along with that come responsibilities. We strive to show, through the details of our lives, untouched emotions, almost seeming to find words for the unknown images. During the years my work evolved, I became interested in materials other than just paper or canvas. Photography and found object gave me wide-open possibilities to create what I wanted to express. I used or represented fabric in many of my recent works.
By introducing painting of fabric or actual fabric to the piece, cloth becomes a symbology for focusing specifically on themes of concealment or hiding, motivated by a reluctance to confront problems, and making the identity of women visible in the light of their religious, linguistic, and racial differences. For example, in an environment where the constricting and destructive practices of cultures are mixed and together, I wish to emphasize how purity and beauty are folded together with cruelty and loneliness by mixing the immensely soft and silent texture of fabric with synthetic gold- and silver-colored metallic survival blankets.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing artists today is the increasing number of artists around the globe. In addition, art is more accessible through contemporary media and technology. The resulting challenge facing artists today is to find one’s own unique space amid the cacophony.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have a solo exhibition coming up at the Eissey Campus at the Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens on February 12, 2019. Also, my work is available to be viewed on my website, along with my contact information.
- Website: www.sibelkocabasi.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: sibelkocabasi_studio
- Facebook: Sibel Kocabasi – Buğdanoğlu