In the Studio with Hayal Pozanti: Themes & Inspiration

Digital-based art to painting

“I could say that I learned how to make things on a computer first before making things by hand. I’ve been drawing and painting since I was very little, but my undergrad experience was more digital-based. So I learned how to program, make things on a computer, and use digital photography; it was more about using digital media to create. But that eventually created another frustration in that I wanted things to come out of the computer; I felt a sense of disconnect. And I was making work that was more about appropriating images. I was just, to put it very bluntly, addicted to the internet, and collecting all kinds of images and making collages from those. But once I started becoming invested in abstraction and not wanting to appropriate things, I didn’t see a need to rely on the computer so much. I didn’t want to become like a slave to the machine. I believe also that as humans, we have a unique capability of creating things, whereas machine-generated things always rely on the program that you’re using. So it’s down to whoever created that program that generates the outcome or the outlook of what you’ve produced.”

Inspiration

“I’m a bit of a nerd, so I’ll just be reading and looking at a lot of things. I like reading a lot about technological theory; that’s the main source of inspiration for me. Visually, I like graphic things. I enjoy looking at how, through history, human beings have communicated with each other visually. That might mean looking at icons, alphabets, or very basic prehistoric ways of creating. I am interested in this idea of communicating, an idea through a single image.”

Music

“I listen to music all the time in the studio. Because I’m doing physical work, I listen to a lot of energetic, electronic music, and a lot of house. [Laughs]. Right now I’m listening to some garage from, like, end of the ’90s/beginning of 2000s, just something that’s very upbeat. And I’ll sometimes dance in the studio. It’s really about enjoying my physical presence in the world and enjoying what I’m making.”

Working hours

“I like to work in the mornings, because my studio gets such beautiful light. I don’t like painting under artificial light.”

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Photographs by Alex John Beck