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5 Minutes with Gorkem Dikel

Established Turkish painter, Gorkem Dikel has wide national exposure. Her work takes its inspiration from science fiction, space, atoms, and matter. Her collage-style paintings are made using acrylic and are incredibly detailed, often reflecting a shattered effect characteristic of Cubism.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

Besides my mom being a self-taught painter and me drawing under coffee tables lying on the grounds when I was 4 to 6 years old, I found myself in a deep concentration state while I was painting a jazz orchestra in high school. That’s when I decided that I wanted to spend my life chasing that feeling.

Garden of Eternal Sunshine and Joy (2018), Gorkem Dikel

Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?

Above all art styles and influences, abstract expressionism is what drives me crazy in the best way. It is incomplete, ready to breathe, flexible, fresh, always youthful. I love Katharina Grosse, Cecily Brown, O’Keeffe, Julie Mehretu, and more.

Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others? 

I love working alone, an insect is enough to take me out of my deep focus in my practice. Although I feel like I need to be more open to distractions, it could maybe deepen my focus. I collaborate with others for exhibition projects or artist initiatives. I’ve made pottery and ceramics as part of a collective, but with my paintings, I’m always been by myself.

Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?

I am working on three different mediums and three different themes: Gems, Spaces, and Shadows. The mediums are canvas, 3D mixed media, and vectorial paintings on digital media. Soon I’ll launch some sculptures too.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?

I could be a musician because I have a great ear. I could be a furniture designer because I am obsessed with chairs. Or could be an architect or carpenter, filmmaker or assistant to David Lynch!

What advice could you give to young artists starting out?

I suggest that they work hard to find their original artistic language, to make art that comes from deep inside of themselves. Don’t fake what you see or what you have already discovered. Once you discover something, challenge it!

‘Shadow’ Series VII (2020), Gorkem Dikel

Discover more artworks by Gokem Dikel here.