SERDAR ARAT
Menu
English | Türkçe

Vacation and the Creative Process (For the New York Times article by William Zimmer, June 3, 2001): In the world of work, family, and friends a vacation means a time-off, rest, and perhaps recuperation. In my world of surviving and hopefully succeeding as an artist while holding a job, and maintaining relations with family and friends, a vacation has a completely different meaning. It usually means all of the following at the very same time:
“Finally I have a chunk of unbroken time to work in my studio, but I really need some rest if I plan to return to my teaching job.”
“It is absolutely blissful to wake up and head directly to my studio, but I hardly spend any time with my family.”
“My wife wants me to join her on a trip to Bilbao. We can stay with our friends there and I can actually see the Guggenheim miracle in person. But, my art work has just taken a new turn and even thinking about it makes my heart beat faster.”
These conflicting feelings are almost always resolved in the same way: I head to my studio gradually shedding the guilt and regrets, find boundless energy when I think I had none left, work an eight-hour day, and leave the studio in a state of high that comes from no other substance or experience, thirsty for more.
S.A. 2001


Spoon-Perfect (Blog essay for Printz)  https://printzdesigns.blog/2017/10/08/spoon-perfect/ 
S.A. 2017


Drawing is the closest we ever get to the immediacy of a thought in Art. Before it is “real”ised, a thought is a flash of imagination. It is inspiring, exciting, and motivating precisely because it is incomplete-un”real”ised. Some drawings may reflect the process of development of an initial thought into an idea for a complex artwork. All good drawings though, carry the freshest traces of an inspiring thought and the original flash of imagination.
S.A. 2003


Outer shapes of these works shift, expand, suppress, split, or elongate the images contained within them. Often times, images of natural settings are thus, severely distorted by the seemingly imposed and imposing artificial geometries. The tension between the two, what may be perceived as the visible order of the natural world, and the invisible order of human systems (cultures, histories, politics...), is the force energizing these works. A “contemporary Romanticism”, aware of our mental landscapes as well as those of the natural environment, may not be an inaccurate short hand to describe the underlying sensibility.
S.A. 2010


How Exotic is the Echo of a Distant Scream and Departing Skies: Applying acrylic wash traces or stains on paper and allowing the water to carry and settle the pigment freely, creates the sense that the image, like a thought or a memory, is either forming or dissolving as we are looking at it. The image that evokes a siren, megaphone, or black hole, may be viewed as a metaphor for ignored prophesies, warnings, even screams - personal or political. The “cerebral” and “surreal” combine to reflect how the mind both recalls with urgency, and distances and “exoticizes” the knowledge and memory of painful events.
S.A. 2010


Distant Warnings and The Long Wait series make references to nature as well as to art history, especially the Romantic Era. This self conscious reference is reinforced by the use of images of air vents, pipes, tubes, sirens, and other “void” objects that serve as obsolete instruments of warning. The seemingly jarring objects hover in empty spaces that are enclosed or extended by the use of shaped canvas or paper. These shapes however, are conceived to reflect the permanence, and the absolute order and trapping power of authority, in both a personal and a political sense.
S.A. 2000


Authority: At times, I can't help but perceive time as irreversible and continuous loss, and history as authority over human dignity. Especially subtle forms of authority which may have a less alarming but more permanent and possibly more devastating impact than that of open repression. Consequently, my work is motivated by a strong sense of urgency and is anchored in highly personal experiences.
S.A. 1991


Public Art: When the innocence of idealism along with common allegories and myths went out of our lives, the basic reason for monumental -public- art was also lost. I try to recapture it by “monumentalizing” my most personal experiences of doubt, loss, anxiety… Here, the recurrent format of arches play a double role: on one level they are “monumental” openings (public), on another they are highly private chambers of contemplation (personal).
S.A. 1986


To Four Years of Silence: The tall arch shaped paintings correspond to a period of involuntary silence (1980-84) both in recent Turkish history and in my personal life. These pieces are not meant as a political critique, but instead, as a reflection of the muting effects of the political on the personal. Trapped ambitions and ideals have a way of swelling up inside us, getting distorted and saggy. If they do find a way out, they are no longer vivid but mute. Their clumsy monumentality is what stands before us.
S.A. 1985