14.6 C
New York
Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Buy now


Ayşe Wilson draws youth, innocence and the timeless spaces we occupied when we were young, the feeling of freedom through lively and childlike figures.

The figures he creates remind us of nostalgia.

We often come across the works of the Boston-born artist at Pg Art Gallery in Istanbul. We even had the opportunity to see the last “Love Letters”. He reflected the mixed emotions surrounding us in quarantine in his paintings with colorful writings. Represented by Geary Contemporary in New York, the artist is currently preparing for a new exhibition. We are connected to New York by eliminating the time differences. We talked about the city he loved so much, youth and production.
Do you think the geography you live in, for example, being a ‘New Yorker’ affects your productions?

New York is an amazing city, always vibrant. Filled with galleries and museums, you meet artists everywhere you go. The best place for an artist to live. I feel very lucky to have come here to study 20 years ago. But for example, the art market has changed quite a bit lately. Artists here no longer focus solely on the city itself to produce. It wasn’t like that in the past. This change is very good. London, Chicago or Istanbul each has its own rhythm. And each feeds creativity from different angles. The same goes for when you leave the city and go to a village. But I love living close to other artists and being in contact with them.

You worked at Jeff Koons’ studios early in your career. What kind of experience was this?

Working with any contemporary artist, not just Koons, is an education you can’t imagine. It was a lot of fun working on the large scale paintings bought by famous collectors and museums. The friendships I made in those days still continue. We had established our own artist community with those working in the studio. I think that was the most important. Many of us would go to the park during lunch breaks. Jeff Koons had a soccer team, some chasing the ball in the park, if you ask me, I was pretty lazy, just drinking coffee and watching.

You have always referred to youth and emotions in your works. How has your perspective on these themes changed when you look at it now?

I think as we get older, our ideas about youth become more valuable. And again, as we get older, our feelings deepen. After I became a mother, thanks to my children, I realized that youth is actually a special time period. You are more free in your ideas and actions, and you relinquish that as you grow. It’s a natural process, but a little sad. You realize that you are more valuable that way.

Scenes from the exhibition titled ‘Love Letters’ at Pg Art Gallery. Studies are fighting the fear of the unknown, anxieties and insecurity that come with the pandemic.

You work with vibrant colors, how do you decide on the color palette?

I guess colors are just like flavor. As you cook, you glide towards various spices and flavors. You like some things, but you can’t explain. Some like it sweet, some like it bitter or sour. Some like sauces. I guess that’s what colors and painting are like. It’s just feelings… For example, some people like whiskey, but I guess that’s a whole other topic.

You used a different method in your last exhibition “Love Letters” at Pg Art Gallery. What was the reason for this change?

Artists love to hang out experimentally. They are always looking for a way to express themselves in a different way. However, they may not always be lucky enough to share it. During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to try something new. Everyone was looking for innovation. For once, I wanted to experience the feeling of using words. Written communication is a part of our lives more than ever before. We write more because of technology. A very old-fashioned, but very valid method. We texted before the phone. Words are important, we need to make more space for them. We can use it in many different humanitarian frameworks.

So what’s next? Can you talk about your new exhibition?

I am working on an exhibition that I will open in New York in the spring. Artists always produce. It’s like I’m a scientist and researching powerful images to record the times we live in. If a good exhibition emerges from this process, it is very good, if it does not disappear, it is very good, the exhibition in my studio always continues.

How would you describe your routine in the studio?

I try to generate as much new work as possible. There are many works that I produce on order. I have a sketchbook that I keep for my daydreaming moments. I always had music in my ears, but now podcasts have been added. I like to be in touch with something all the time.

What inspires you the most these days?

In the last year or two, I’ve walked a lot like everyone else. I love being by the beach, near the water. In the first year of the pandemic, I could not leave the house because of fear. I also teach these days. Being with children inspires me. I like what’s going on in Los Angeles’ art scene, the Perez Art Museum in Miami. I am very happy to open exhibitions again in New York.

Are there any new artists you’re excited about lately?

Too many to list! I think the best part of Instagram is being able to communicate with other artists. There are too many artists doing experimental production with new materials. Enormous. Also, artists who produce abstract works have always enchanted me. I think there has been a lot more room for artists in society. Maybe it is because we have become addicted to the visual world due to social media, phones and the internet. A new mass of visual arts began to emerge. People need to communicate and feel. Art does that too!

If I were to ask about your favorite spots from New York…

I used to have a workshop on the Lower East Side. That’s why I like all the cafes and restaurants in the area. I love walking in the city. Nearby Tribeca, Chinatown is my favourite. I’ve been visiting the Brooklyn Museum lately. The Osprey in nearby Olmsted or Dumbo is one of my favorite restaurants. Whenever I want to hang out outside, I stop by Balthazar. With the pandemic, there have been a lot of exciting developments in Upstate New York recently. Many galleries have opened new art spaces, and artists have begun to flock to the Hudson River Valley. These are my recent favourites!

Article: Aykun Tasdoner

Photographs: HADIYE GÖKCE, DENİZ TAPKAN CENGİZ Retrieved from ELLE Turkey April 2022 issue.


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles