These are dark times, there’s no denying it. From political unrest and environmental crisis to smaller gripes like seasonal allergies and MTA woes, it’s easy to get bogged down in this concrete jungle we call home. But Buket Savci, this week’s featured artist, is here with a salve in her magnificently colorful and fantastically buoyant works. Buket’s paintings, along with Jacob Hicks’, will be the inaugural works at Wrong Side of the River (67 West Street, Suite 312) now through May 3. Their exhibition, Wonderland, is a welcome balm to our times and a stunning exercise in collaborative creativity. Below, we get to know Buket and her work, but most importantly her contagious and relentless optimism.
Greenpointers: How long have you been in Brooklyn?
Buket Savci: I live and work in Brooklyn; I’ve been in Bushwick for a little over three years. Before that I lived in Astoria for almost 10 years. But I’ve had my studio in Greenpoint since I received my MFA from New York Academy of Art in 2012. I also studied painting at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
I am so glad to hear you enjoy our title for the show. I have been working on these series of paintings for a few years now, which are about the fleeting moments of pure joy and happiness. I create paintings addressing the ephemerality of happiness while using objects like balloons as a metaphor for our short lived contentment.
I really enjoy using saturated vivid colors, and I think everything else is so negative and dark so at least my paintings should be colorful and fun. That’s why I use the colors that makes me happy, and I enjoy including humor in my art. But actually I am not that joyful. Life is not easy and I had my share of traumas. Unfortunately a few years ago I had a major depression and even my psychiatrist was constantly telling me that my art will save me. Painting is my passion, and it is this wonderland where anything can happen, so I choose to make it fun and colorful like a playground.
There is this profound quote from a Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet; he asks to Abidin Dino, who was a famous Turkish artist. “Could you make a painting of happiness?” So all these led me to question what is real happiness, when and how we feel real joy, and how do I express this through painting.
Painting lets me live these fleeting moments in detail and throughly over a course of weeks even months. I want to create a niche of fantasy, where both the figures and I as the painter can be just like a child — innocent and playful, carefree and bold. A visual playground far away from all the darkness enclosing us outside and inside, blossomed through sincerity and trust.
Hey Greenpointers! How’s everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions going? Excited for the Super Bowl?
If you’re anything like me, you don’t really have any resolutions (just trying to live my best life) and you absolutely despise the Patriots (Tom Brady is a cheater and a T-supporter), so all the more reason to check out some art this weekend!
On Friday, the Greenpoint Gallery is hosting its first open call group exhibition of 2018. Also Friday (and through the weekend), check out the politically-overt exhibition at SHIM/ArtHelix. And come Monday evening, we have two very interesting literature events: Geoff Cobb reading from his book Sugar King and the all-women publishing collective Mag Mob discussing the future of independent publishing.
You see, there’s a reason why you live in the center of the universe, even if it costs you 60% of your income to rent an apartment here!
For “Home”, Westergren combines recent works and two-site specific installations. Recalling a house in the country, the works use elements of elite traditional decor like Murano glass, wallpaper and hunting trophies to explore interior distress amid outer luxury. “Gut Renovation” combines trompe l’oeil and papier-mâché animal heads that glare back at the viewer to create a menacing domestic space. “Carolyn Glasoe Bailey June 25, 1969- November 16, 2015,” titled in memory of a friend, is a taut juxtaposition of images of Scandinavian domestic life with motifs of emptiness and loss. The final piece, “Gardening,” gathers natural forms and vintage glass pieces into a sculpture that invites viewing from multiple angles. Its structure of twisted brass pipe recalls rusted and rotting infrastructure even as its lights rise to transcendence.
Launching Greenpoint Hill feels like kismet for Kim Brown. Previously a studio and storage annex for Pentatonic Guitars, the space is now renovated and feels cozy and warm with brick walls painted white and light, wooden shelves. She’d had her eye on the space at 100 Freeman Street for a while and the time has come to open as an art gallery and retail shop.
For the opening, the inventory is very ceramic heavy, which is where Brown’s sensibilities are now, but she’s open to housing other types of sculpture and handmade objects as well. She’s in discussion with wood workers and hoping to get a few furniture pieces.
Brown aims to curate a collection for people who just appreciate art or jewelry or the functional work to use in their everyday lives, rather than collectors.
“I’m really honored to have all the participating artists,” says Brown. “I’m feeling optimistic about the space, thinking it’ll be fun!”
Brown also plans to host events and workshops and is currently exhibiting a a series of gouache paintings by Libby VanderPloeg titled “Ladies Who Lead”. The exhibition opening reception is tonight, Thursday, Oct 20th, 7-10pm.
Featuring portraits of inspirational women paired with quotes, the series is part one of two, and opens tonight, supporting Brown’s mission for Greenpoint Hill, which is to act as a “place where people can buy art, rather than a fixed exhibition space.”
Brown and I agreed: the paintings would make great holiday gifts.