Musa Güney: "Everybody should be in relation to some sort of an art activity in a way. He should live and share the energy, the emotion and the enthusiasm that he has naturally."
I found him by tracking the textures that he created by paints. We met up with artist Musa Güney in his atelier in an old Pera apartment house. He hosted me within his colours.
Could you tell us about your expedition of progress in your work?
Expedition? Truthfully, when looking back, it was an expedition full of thrill and enthusiasm. We can conclude that it is the emancipation and neutralization of a soul as a result of a self struggle of an impressionistic personality lasting for years… Actually, I realized that it is the parts that create the whole and I fell into a vicious circle. Every part creates the entirety and could transform into another component at the same time. Every paint gives birth to another and it goes on.
How did you begin painting textures?
This is somewhat related to sense of touch.. Attainment to beauty, to obtain it, is not only related to seeing it.. This circumstance is also related to be able to feel it, to smell, to taste it and to touch it. We can not just see a rose, look and walk through, we also smell it.. I wanted to touch it as well. As descending into detail and concentrate on elements, I felt the texture and touch it.
What are the triggering facts for you, your source of inspiration?
It can be anything.. I wander in details.. even a meaningless element can trigger the condition. This can be a crack on the edge of the table when sitting and drinking tea around a table in a crowded place or the abraded texture of a wall that was painted over and over.
What is your perspective about the relation between art and happiness?
Making art is a long course full with moments of happiness and enthusiasm, it is about a free sprit determined to his aim. Art is not a business and the artist produce without a profit expectation. This fact gives the art maker an unforgettable weal and delight. I remember that I watch a work that I terminated for hours.
What is your definition for art and artist?
Art is a status and being artist is an attitude. There is no recipe for this. As far as I’m concerned we can call it as a life-style, a sensation, reflection of the inner senses on a plane or an object, even, sometimes getting changed your aspect for this.
Would you tell us about your favorite artists and their work?
Actually there are really good artists in the past and in the present. I can’t name them. I didn’t hold up any artist as an example in any period of my life. I’m living my own spirituality, struggle and passion..
What is the role of art in human life and what should it be in your opinion?
In my opinion, every human should keep company with a branch of art. He should live the enthusiasm, the feeling and the energy that exists in his nature and should share it.
What would you say about contemporary art?
The disconnecting nature of the modern thought destroys the tradition and this influence the art as well. This is a normal continuum. Art and art work was always shaped within its own conditions and materials.. When compared to previous era, today’s conditions are for sure, exceedingly different.. We take the whole advantage of the modern digital age.. As long as it concerns the aesthetics and the art spirit, there is no problem..
What should be the role of education in art?
The essential is to enhance creativity, to improve the esthetic perception, to elevate generations that are able to associate the things differently and that can point out different aspects of one subject.
Did you do art work with children?
Yes.. I collect children painting for a long time. There is a hidden world in each of them… Last year I had a nice 40 person group. We have passed a wonderful year. It is very pleasant and exciting to share art activity with uncontaminated brains apt to produce. They want, love and feel the paint. We moved away a bit from the usual classical children painting which has always bothered me.. I talked them about the shapes, sizes and interdifferences of the objects found in the nature. They comprehend it.. I did not step in their work then. I was amazed by the unbelievable beauty of their paintings at the end. We hold an exhibition fort his work in the gallery of my dear friends Erdi and Esra Gökağaç - Erva Art - in Nişantaşı. The families, the children and the artists gathered in the exhibition.. I convey them my endless thanks for their support to the art without any return expectations. t was such a spectacular day. Perhaps these children will not grow up as artists, perhaps just a few of them will.. It makes no odds. There is something I know that they will allways love art..
Would you give us some information about your art work in the Balkan region?
This is one of the subjects that I dote on in the recent years.. We have an historical link to this area and we have lived together for centuries. This has excited me always.. I met a lot of precious artists at the international workshops. We had intimate friendships in time. We hold up a group exhibition with the contributions of Novipazar (Sancak) Fine Arts Faculty. Later on we had organized an exhibition in Skopje with 25 Turkish and 25 Macedonian artists. This exhibition turned into a long-running organization and was displayed in 10 different galleries all the year round. It still goes on.
We had also organized an exhibition called Expo Diaspora 2014 Bocholt sponsored by a museum and Bocholt Municipality in Germany with the contributions of artists from 20 European country, United States, Cuba, Syria, Japan and 5 artists from Turkey. That was a lovely opening. This exhibition will move to Kosovo this month. If we can provide support, the Project will be repeated in Turkey. Besides that we had exhibitions with artists from Kosovo and Macedonia in Turkey. They joined to TÜYAP Art Fair.. We have many projects for 2015 as well.
Making art and make a living with art is difficult in our country.. How did you cope with it?
The artists are exposed to difficulties and troubles evermore. Religious, political or economical oppressions can be in question. The art has overcome these difficulties successfully. I believe that our country will overcome the hassle as well. It is a long and hard way.. This is a struggle to survive which needs setting one’s heart and mind on. A beautiful and noble expedition that is dragged along feelings, excitement and passion and which lacks any return expectations…
How can we make art familiar with the society?
By meeting the artist with the community! We are accused in this case also. We become introverted.. We should approach and get in touch to the art-lover. I felt this for the first time in one of my exhibitions in a cultural center in Anatolia. I saw it in the eyes of an old lady who has just arrived from a public bazaar with her hands full of sacks and stared in front of an abstract painting for minutes ..
What did you see in the eyes of the old lady?
She approached to the painting, she touched it and said ‘’ This is very beautiful my son’’. Who knows? Perhaps it was a remembering from an abrased painting of her village house gate or an abrased detail from the over and over painted garden wall. What is important was that she touched and felt the painting and she wanted to communicate with the painting.. This states the connection between an art object and the spectator..
I attach importance to Anatolian people. Their handwoven quilts, kilims, patchworks… The compositions, abstractions, disintegration and the colour balances in their work.. Products of a neat and unpolluted aesthetic perception. Sense of beauty, aesthetic perception exists in all human. It is the expression of methods and the materials that differ.
What does Istanbul mean to you?
This is somewhat related to the social class you live in.. I have communication with almost all social groups.. A lengthy subject.. Good and bad, beautiful and ugly in short.
I’m asking about your Istanbul..
I’ve seen many countries.. cities, towns.. places which impress me a lot with their natural beauty. However İstanbul has a particular atmosphere. It is a multicultural extraordinary city with its great historical background and particular geography. Sometimes I walked through Çemberlitaş, Sultanahmet, Ayasofya, Topkapı, Gülhane, Eminönü,.. to Karaköy and Beşiktaş.. Even, recently I made my Balcanian friends walk along this course for hours. They got tired a lot, but the happy expression in their faces was reflecting the beautiful face of İstanbul already..
Speaking of living in İstanbul.. this is another thing. There are still many people living on the Anatolian side of tis city and not yet see the European side. For some people İstanbul doesn’t mean more than working hopelessly and taking a bread to home at the end of the day. This is an economical and social problem.. However we are loosing this space helplessly: the capital of many civilizations, a city that has such an high energy and beauty. We are not even able to react this under the domination of the capital.
It does no longer make a sense the smell of the grilled fish or the boats on water in Karaköy because of this meaningless bridge builded right there. We are loosing the sillhouette of the city. This is a very pathetic condition. Afterall, with its good and bad sides, beauty and ugliness, it is my İstanbul and I love it.
Do you have a dream project for İstanbul?
I have many projects. I will carry out when conditions are suitable. There are many derelict buildings or factories in İstanbul. I want these properties to assigned to art makers and make live these spaces with art.
This can be an important step to make meet the people with art. Imagine.. somebody who is unfamiliar with art meets an artist painting or sculpting in the garden of the abandoned building that he was passing by everyday. Maybe he will stay unreactive at the beginning but he will be charmed by the attraction of art in time and this experience will allow him to become acquainted by art.
I actually realize this on the street where I’m living. Sometimes I perform my painting in the open air. The people are coming along, watching, asking questions. Probably, at least they might be thinking that: ‘’ Look, he is one of us.. he is an artist and is sharing the same space with us..’’
The community is not accustomed to artists yet, they can see us as strange people with marginal thought belonging to another world… this project can make them more familiar with art makers.