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Leyla Candan: Lost in Art

Interviewed by Berkem DINÇMAN

Born in Istanbul in 1947, Leyla Candan settled in Bodrum, in order to give herself to her art studies. Graduated from the workshop of Ayla Eris, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Mugla, Leyla conducts lessons in art history and gives classes on painting in the cultural center of the Bodrum Municipality, the Bazaar. At the same time she manages the "Yosun" Art Gallery in Yalikavak.

In her paintings, she likes to motivate visual and intellectual sensations likewise by mixing "real" object with imaginary places. "My dreams are the source of Inspiration, because of, maybe that I'm in the sign of Pisces, my dreams are endless." she adds. Forming her works from her dreams, the irreplaceable reflections of her life, she adds real objects to her paintings, in order to make up for the hearts of her spectators.

Bodrum, Turkey

_ What gets you started with a painting?
_ Well, I'm still inspired most of the time by my long lasting sea voyages that I had between 1967-77. Blue oceans stretching till infinity made me always feel some magic. Mythological stories add up to this notion of past time. These kinds of emotions make me start a new painting.

_You mentioned mythology, how do you describe it?
_ "The colors of the sun and turquoise, hmm" difficult to tell.

_ Maybe these stars and leopards that are hiding in your paintings?
_ Yes, I'm using them as well to enrich the historical scenery.

_ Let's flip to your lessons of art history that you are teaching in the Bazaar. Can you point out the most important highlights of the last century in art?
East met West and West met East. Ordinary people started to exchange their culture with other nations people. For instance, Picasso went to Africa, meeting the African Art. Likewise, Gauguin met the Tahitian; Klimt investigated on Eastern and Turkish miniatures. These contacts had their spin-offs in the respective arts. Likewise, modern Turkish art began to form in the early 1900s with the influence of Turkish artist, who joined the artistic communities in Paris. Perspective views in drawings start in Europe early as 1200, whereas in Turkey these date around 1870-1880. This is much due to religious pressures that kept artist from expressing themselves freely. Generally speaking, the 20thcentury accelerated the evolution of modern painting techniques.

1. Gelincikler 73X92 - 2. Figur 70X100

_ What about the impressionist movement?
_ In 1874, Paris NADAR gallery hosts an exhibition by Monet, Renoir, Pissaro and Sisley. One of the paintings goes by the name Impressions on the Sun dawning. Critics don't let this outrageous title go, they heavily criticize it, causing a lot amusement for a long time. This term finally settles as the dawning of a new approach to art.

_ How do you like to work?
_ I'm more productive when I'm alone. Once a week, we meet with friends in a workshop. We discuss painting techniques and work together, which induces a lot of inspiration. Twice a week, I give classes on drawing and the history of fine arts. These classes cause me to investigate and delve into the subjects, till to the point, where I feel "lost in art." By the way, even if I work alone, this doesn't mean I'm not incorporating wishes and dreams of others into my paintings.

Tripting Sualti 180 X 200

_ You are drawing a lot of beauties, where do these come from?
_ They are the princesses, the goddesses, the immortals taking their energy of life from the legends, the tales and the infinity, which I want to capture.

_ What are your favorite painting techniques?
_ Ornamental collections are my favorite starting point for paintings. I start the painting in my imagination first. Secondly, I draw it on the canvas. This induces each time a lot of emotional stuff. Clearly can I separate my enthusiasm from the turbulences of the outside world and embody it into my paintings.

The most interesting thing about art is that it never stops evolving. Even if the painting is finished and exposed to the public, through the interaction with the visitors and their imaginations and feelings, it continues to grow into an unknown phenomenon. Artists use fine arts express themselves, their society and the ongoing change that the world is undertaking. Tools and techniques to achieve this may vary.

Paintings of Leyla Candan are sold all over the world including in America, Germany, Netherlands, France and Great Britain. Collectors from Turkey highly appreciate her works, which in return, spurs her willingness and motivation for more creative production.

E-mail to: leylacandan@superonline.com
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