Turkish artist Deniz Sağdıç, is an artist who uses a thought-provoking medium to make her art. As a daughter of a GlassMaster and being born into the family of craftsperson she had many opportunities to explore her creativity, eventually landing a career in art. Sağdıç after pursuing her path in creativity graduated from the Department of Painting in Mersin University and graduated as the faculty’s top student. After the early challenging years, “I gradually began to be recognized for my work. I started with works on the social position of women, then moved beyond the limits of visual arts and continued with panels, interviews and workshop activities. I got accepted to the Painting Master’s Program with a scholarship and graduated with a thesis on women.” Now her work is astonishing the world as her portraits from far look like normal art pieces, but after closing in, one ends up discovering the minute materials (originally considered waste) used to make the grand portraits. Deniz’s portraits have gone viral across the web with appreciation coming in from every corner of the world.
Deniz’s work as conceptual art can be shortlisted as a method to use long-lasting waste products into visual art. She started the Ready-Remade project as a reaction or response to this approach. “I was revising this approach by using ‘waste materials’ with classical methods of art such as painting object with oil paint, showing them as sculptures or reorganizing them in a certain order. By doing so, I suppose the aim can be considered to express that the concept in art is not exclusive to this idea of what we know as conceptual art, rather that the concept in art has existed long before, that without concept, art cannot exist after all,” the artist says.
In one of her other projects “Denim skin”, she collects numerous denim materials in a variety of blue hues. She then cuts the fabric into squares, rectangles, or long strips and applies them to a canvas or board in a way to make an illuminated face. Continuing, Sağdıç does not want to waste any part of her found materials, so while some pieces are made entirely out of flat swatches, others feature just the waistband and belt loops, or just the section with the button closure. “Every new material is a challenge for me, actually a challenge to myself as an artist. When I am planning to use a particular ‘waste material’ in my artworks, I hold this material in my hand and watch it for days. Then I experiment with that material, cut it, bend it, or try to glue it or reform it in disruptive ways. Through this process I try to get to know that material, it begins to whisper in my ear, what I can do with it. Then our cooperation with that material begins, I give life to it but this time in the form of an artwork,” mentions the Turkish artist.
Some of her later work touches on the issue of electronic waste. The critical issue around electronic waste has been looming and Deniz has incorporated electronic waste brilliantly in her mini-series. She has used various bits of electronic chipsets to create many enthralling portraits. She has managed to make various portraits with numerous coloured wire bits including one portrait of Nikola Tesla.
Many of Deniz’s art pieces have a fascinating effect when one discovers the materials used for building the artwork. One can only find the enthralling number of materials used in making the art piece after going close. One such example of such art is Deniz’s art pieces made from innumerable colored Medines. Deniz has used many colored tablets and capsules to make this portrait. One another instance is where she uses wasted fabrics to create a vivid portrait, while fascinating viewers once they arrive closer to the art piece to discover the many fabrics arranged together. Some unique portraits by Deniz to mention are made from colored bottle caps.
When asked about how she thinks the world views her sustainable art approach she was quick to explain that her artwork is made by the things that people use every day and therefore can connect with it. “Art will be one of the most effective methods when you want to raise awareness about sustainability, as it does in all other subjects.” And as true as it sounds, it is also proof that the institutions are opening their doors to sustainable art forms and it is becoming a part of their syllabus.
Deniz Sağdıç is an inspiration to many and continue to enthrall us with her beautiful and influencing art.