Five questions to  Pinar Civan

Five questions to Pinar Civan

Although Pinar Civan is currently preparing 2 exhibitions in Madrid and Lisbon as well as an art fair in Milan, she took the time to answer a few questions about her work. The Istanbul-born artist currently lives and works in Paris and Bern and is inspired by new colours and exciting people and their stories while travelling.

How did you get into art?

I was always into art. I was a writer and photographer and at one point words felt inadequate and the reality out of a camera lens didn’t seem enough to describe and express everything I was observing and feeling so I picked up the brush and started from there. I find abstract art “liberating”. It allowed me to be more free and more open and more honest towards expressing what I see around me. I completed an art program with a female artist who I respect a lot and to whom I return to over and over again when I need mentoring.



How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

I would describe my style as intuitive and emotional. I am a traveler, a nomad, I talk to people, I learn about their cultures, languages, music, dances, history… And then I put all those on the canvas, I don’t depict a moment or a scene, I aim to pass a feeling over, share an emotion, an inspiration, tell a story in my own way. So it’s shared experience of people from all over the place with people from all over the place. So I guess that makes my work sincere. I don’t hide, I don’t act, I don’t pretend, everything I feel is out there on the canvas. So my style is colorful and open to elements of the world. I like using different materials and mediums that I find “sur place” wherever I happen to be, like sand, ashes, soil, natural pigments, ocean water and etc so I incorporate my surroundings to my paintings.

How do you go about developing your work?

My work is most of the time intuitive so I hardly ever sketch and apply it later on different grounds. So I just prep the canvas and start with the first emotion which is present or a memory which is preoccupying or the reflection over a sentence that I just read or heard. But sometimes it takes long time to be convinced that a work is completed and feelings, situations, surroundings change over the time of working on that piece so I create layer after layer in that situation and each layer helps build another story or another part of that particular story.

Who or what influences you?

Everything. Women, cities, music, poetry, literature, ocean, chipped off walls, graffitti, my friends, strangers, stray animals, love… 

Make us curious. What is planned next?

I have 2 upcoming exhibitions, one in Madrid and one in Lisbon and an art fair in Milan. Meanwhile I am working on an art studio project in London. So I have my “palette” rather full at the moment. I like painting as I travel so I will squeeze in a few travels in Asia and in South America and certainly use this opportunity to try out colors which are new to me and get inspired by people and their stories.