Serap Gecu documenting the uniqueness in banality

Serap Gecu

Serap Gecu is an artist, writer/editor and creative consultant based in Istanbul who writes for magazines such as Vogue and Port Magazine. She expresses herself through different mediums from drawing, photography to writing which give her “the freedom to capture the way I see things around me and what I make out of them.”

She loves “documenting the uniqueness in banality, seeing the hidden extraordinariness in it, through personas, habits, subtexts, unintentional gestures and unawareness.”

Her recent work developed during this period of pandemic is a series of drawings with simple lines, such as Henri Matisse could draw, and I am happy to share her work.

What is your background and your artistic path?

During my university education while I was studying Physics, I was writing short stories most of which were published in literary magazines like Adam Oyku and altzine. My stories received an honorable mention at Genclik Kitabevi Story Awards. I translated H.P. Lovecraft’s book “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” into Turkish and it was published by 6:45 Publishing House. Along with literature, photography was another means of artistic expression for me back then as it is now. Until today my photography work has been featured in publications like LeCool, Banané, Bak, Carpaccio, Simple Style, Saqi Books and exhibited in exhibitions like “No Exclusive Quarters For Families” (March-April 2010, Mtaär Open Art Space),
“Wallpeople Project” (July 2011, Milk Gallery), “İkametgah Kadikoy” (February-March 2012, Hush Gallery).

Photo by Serap Gecu

After graduating from university I worked in several publishing houses and in 2012, I started working at XOXO The Mag as an editor. After nearly six years of working there, which led me to become the publishing director of several sister magazines along with XOXO, such as Some Men, Petals and Feed, I decided to work independently and became a freelance editor and creative consultant. My articles and interviews have since appeared in publications like Vogue Turkey, Port Magazine Turkey, Masterpiece, QP, QP Women and Crystal.

Working as a freelancer gave me the freedom to spare more time for writing and photography and I also rediscovered my enthusiasm for drawing. Over the last couple of years drawing has become one of the major modes of artistic expression for me along with photography and writing.

What is your goal with your artwork (both drawing and photography) ?

I prefer not to focus on goals when talking about expressing myself through art. I love the feeling that leads me to drawing and photography out of pure enthusiasm. I enjoy the time I spend creating something new and always stay curious about how it would turn out.

I love documenting the uniqueness in banality, seeing the hidden extraordinariness in it, through personas, habits, subtexts, unintentional gestures and unawareness. Sometimes that’s a distinctive attitude of a person, a other times a spontaneous dialogue that I encounter with some stranger or just overhear while on my way to somewhere, or maybe a characteristic gesture of a person sitting across me in the subway.

What do you like about these different mediums?

Both of them give me the freedom to capture the way I see things around me and what I make out of them. It’s like keeping a visual journal or writing a different story each time with the material provided by everyday life.

Can you tell us about your series “The Attitude”?

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are” says Anaïs Nin. We are made of judgements. Interestingly, the evolution of the word “attitude” resonates with this approach. Originally a French word, attitude was first used as a technical term in art in 1660s to define the posture or position of a figure in a statue or painting. Later it generalized to different meanings such as a posture of the body supposed to imply some mental state and a settled behavior reflecting feeling or opinion. It was not until the 20th century that it started to carry negative connotations like antagonistic and uncooperative. In this series I focus on giving the word a new meaning, by imagining the attitude as the unfiltered reflection of identity, without being influenced by any judgements of the society.

You are also a writer. Can you share about your work?

For me, writing is a way of understanding either myself or whatever is happening around. I love writing stories as well as writing articles and doing interviews. I am also into writing scripts and working on one occasionally but I will need more time and concentration to create something that truly satisfies me.

Photo by Serap Gecu

What are your next projects?
During the quarantine days, I made a new series of drawings, which I am excited to share through different platforms.


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