so extreme or intense as to prevent normal thought.
When confronted by the stark landscapes of Gozde's art, the contorted nudes in Schiele-like poses, it is hard to put coherent thoughts together. The Turkish artist stuns viewers into silence. She hits on a relatable, sorrowful pessimism that most humans in the 21st Century share. Can we go on treating each other and the planet in such careless ways?
Amidst the bleakness, there is beauty in the art. By highlighting the harsh realities of our world, Gozde's Dark Art NFTs make us realize that we all see the same signs–that through shared experience we are not as alienated and isolated from one another as we may feel. Via this indirect mechanism of sharing the darkness, Gozde provides hope.
Q: I really enjoy some of the recurring themes/images you have in your artwork. They make it easy to see that, beyond the surface imagery, there is a deeper meaning to your work.
Who is the red-headed lady that appears in most—or is it all—of your work? Is this a self-portrait/autobiographical reference or more figurative?
A: The red-haired figure is both inspired by myself and represents the individual in society. I wanted to make their physical features independent of myself and the people around me. In this way, I prevent a composition related to a single person.
Q: There is a recurring One-eyed octopus, cyclops character (Cycloctopus?) that I’ve noticed in several paintings. There’s also a giant tentacle in the background of “Lost City.” This reminds me of a Lovecraftian monster. What is this character to you and what does he/she/it represent?
A: I'm glad you noticed the one-eyed figure. This character is important to me, even though it is not in every picture. This character represents the surveillance mechanism in society. It is a figure that I use to reflect the pressure we feel on us as individuals. We constantly act with a control mechanism and a set of rules while continuing our daily lives, whether we’re alone or socializing in society. The fact that the octopus is a feared figure as a sea monster with its depiction in mythology inspired me. For me, the octopus represents power in my paintings (society-power relations).
Q: There is a relatable but sorrowful pessimism in most of your work. Is this a reflection of your personal state of mind? And/or is your art an outlet for your emotions? Or perhaps your work is dissociated from your self and represents more of a political/social statement?
A: Art is definitely a way out for me. It's like speaking another language. Therefore, my mood is very affected in the course of my work. Social and political events, phenomena that dominate my mood in my daily life. I always feel connected with the environment and the world I live in. This is reflected in my work.
Q: How has growing up in Turkey influenced your work? Do you think some of your themes are results of lived experience? Or do you consider your work more about universal/global themes?
A: I think the country/region in which all artists live is influential in the creative process. I think the culture in which we were born and raised is one of the most influential things in our self-realization process. But being in contact with the world in the 21st century prevents us from being limited to the place we live in. Today's popular concepts, such as global warming, racism-speciesism, mass murders, gender equality, etc., are affective and problematic concepts in the region I live in, like the rest of the world. For this reason, it is not possible for me to be limited to only Turkey.
Q: I saw you got a Masters in Art Theory and Criticism… given the quality of your work, I would’ve expected you to have a Fine Arts degree! Was there a reason you studied these meta art subjects?
A: In traditional painting education, students are generally expected to work with excellent drawing education. This situation made it difficult for me to express myself. Knowing that I was not accepted prevented me from painting for a while. I see my master's education as a guide in the process of getting to know myself. The theoretical education I received was very effective in getting me out of the mold. So I decided to get rid of all my worries and create a language that I can only express myself (like most modern artists).
Q: What has been your experience as a female artist through your earlier years to today in web3? Unfortunately, I assume there are tons of trolls! Did you notice a difference between the way you were treated in school v. the traditional art world v. the Crypto Art world?
A: It would not be right for me to give very sharp answers since as web3 is still a very new field. However, I think the Crypto Art world is a much more inclusive environment for artists. On the contrary, the traditional art environment is monopolized by a handful of people, and unfortunately, it is an environment that is more suitable for exploiting artists. That's why I think Web3 is an exponential opportunity for artists. "Being a woman" is equally difficult everywhere.