MODERN ANCIENT/Measuring Turkey With Emotions
Constantine Art Gallery, Istanbul--Show Opens March 12, 2010
As millions before me, I came to Turkey curious. To the land of the headwaters of the Tigris and the Euphrates--the waters that irrigated man’s first attempt at civilization. Authenticity in Turkey comes in layers, thousands and thousands of years of it. And, I have only begun to understand her story.
I measure, I learn about her, with what I know--emotions. Like the spices in the market or the sounds of the tent-covered bazaar, Turkey’s emotions come in many colors. They flow freely all at once, with empty tulips and spoons waiting on the table. Or, can be sensually hidden just below the surface, betrayed by a warmness in the eyes, or an unexpected gift to a child without. But many of Turkey’s emotions are buried deep, and that intensity, that force is as much a part of being Turkish as the ancient stones sleeping in her soil.
My first visit to Turkey was in August of 2009--a week in the winds of Alacati and another spent wandering through the streets of Istanbul. My days were filled with drawings, gently trying to trap what I saw and felt between the pencil and the paper. These paintings were done within a few weeks of returning to America--I painted some of them in San Francisco, others in New York. I was afraid that the emotions of that trip might leave me, but they haven’t. I find myself touching the paper, the canvas, able to remember all of it.