In our conversation with Sinan Logie, we discussed his connection with the city and how he reflects it in his artistic practice. We examined his works that he freely creates through experiments with different tools, materials, and sometimes colors.
Photographs: Elif Kahveci (@elifkahveci)
1) Sinan, hello! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What is your educational background, where do you live, and where do you work?
Hi, I grew up between Turkey and Belgium. I completed my architecture education in Brussels in 1998. After practicing there for 13 years, I settled in Istanbul. My life revolves around Beyoğlu here. I alternate between my academic research and art practice.
2) You utilize different practices such as architecture, painting, sculpture, and writing simultaneously in your creative process. Could you tell us about the progression of your production process based on the convergence of these dynamics? Specifically, what are the areas that inspire and motivate you to think and create?
Let me start from the end. The city nourishes me. The urban space has become a nature for me.
In my art practice, I try to abstract this connection I have with the city. I can say it’s an attempt to create a kind of mental mapping composed of elements, spatial situations, or emotions I encounter.
3) In your paintings, particularly those related to Istanbul, you abstractly depict historical structures, layers, textures, and distortions. You are constantly in motion within the city. As someone who has spent years skateboarding, what does exploring the city by skating or walking mean to you?
At that point, the interactions between space (or urban space), mind, and body are crucial. This dynamic is a performative relationship, and the more we push our bodies, the more our minds bend and develop. There are no limits to this transformation.
What does it mean to me? I guess I’m just trying to find myself…
4) In your paintings, you often use black, white, and gray colors. Occasionally, you combine these colors with more vibrant compositions. Concrete, plywood, and other materials appear in your spatial installations and sculptures. Can you talk about the process of material usage and composition?
In my studio, I try to be as pure as a child. Sometimes, I manage to set aside the expectations of the art world and that’s when I liberate myself and open up new territories.
The important thing here is to reject mastery and allow for constant accidents. That’s when we can discover something. That’s why I experiment with different tools, materials, and sometimes colors. I don’t ascribe any specific meaning to them. It’s just an effort to be free, actually.
5) You hold exhibitions, have a book called “İstanbul 2023” with Yoann Morvan, and also teach at Bilgi University academically. Recently, we have seen you involved in music as well. When did your musical journey begin, and how has it developed?
Yes, at some point, academic research and art weren’t enough. I had to start from scratch as a novice in a new field. This happened during the pandemic period.
I started working with the Ha Za Vu Zu group and my friends Güneş Terkol, Güçlü Öztekin, Oğuz Erdin, and Mert Öztekin in my studio. Our music sometimes turns out to be really bad 🙂 but it has been the most nourishing and mind-expanding experience I’ve had in recent years.
I had received three years of music education as a child, and I didn’t enjoy it. After a gap of 35 years, approaching this realm again with a more mature mindset created a completely different feeling… I can say I became addicted.
6) Do you prefer wearing shirts in your daily life? What does a shirt mean to you?
During the summer months, a shirt is my daily uniform, and I enjoy wearing it. I also wear shirts when I need to appear a bit more “serious” occasionally. All my shirts are white… I would say it makes the selection easier, but that’s not entirely true; it varies depending on one for dancing, one for academic settings, and so on.
You might remember me as the guy in the white shirt!
7) You’re wearing a Bil’s London shirt. It’s our “papertouch” model made from organic cotton. What are your thoughts on the Bil’s brand?
The shirt is really great, and the fit is perfect for me. I find Bil’s collaborations and support in the art field to be very important, so I appreciate the brand. I also appreciate its efforts in sustainability.
8) You spend a lot of time in your studio. Is the studio the place where you feel your best in a way? Do you have a new series or exhibition you’re currently working on? Can you tell us about upcoming projects?
Yes, I love and use my studio more than my own home. It’s everything to me!
I have two important exhibitions coming up this autumn. So, after this conversation, I will immediately close myself off and work for six months.
9) Would you like to recommend a book or a film you’ve recently read or watched?
As for a book, Jacques Pervititch’s “Istanbul on Insurance Maps” is always by my side. For a film, I’ve been rewatching M. Night Shyamalan’s movies recently, and they are refreshing.
10) Thank you for this delightful conversation. Lastly, do you have a music playlist or album you listen to while working in your studio? Could you share it with us?
I listen to a variety of things;
If I need to go crazy, our team’s recordings: https://bit.ly/422Iyha
For fast-paced work, electronic music: https://spoti.fi/45ohfkt
When I need to be calm, Ludovico Einaudi: https://spoti.fi/45sxI7m
Sinan Logie: @sinanlogie