March 25, 2015

Art Blogger Of The Week: Ahmet Rüstem Ekici in Istanbul, Turkey



Art blogging is the new thing to do! As Jerry Saltz said: art blogs are “smart, fun, informative, important, irreverent, gossipy, and everything in between and MORE.” This series introduces you to art bloggers wordwide, starting with Ahmet Rüstem Ekici who blogs about the Istanbul art scene. I asked him a few questions about his art world, his blog, his expertise, and the favourite topic of all times: money.  Check out his blog! You can find Ahmet's portfolio on this website and you can also follow him on Instagram.

Art scene 
"Turkey is a developing country with more than 80 cities but only few cities have galleries and institutions where we can see and discuss contemporary art. The municipal goverments are supporting traditional crafts in their art galleries rather than contemporary art. When we talk about art in Turkey we can only talk about Istanbul, I guess. Istanbul is the gateway to both East and West, which gives it a geopolitical and cultural importance. Since 1987, the first Biennale, İstanbul is becoming more and more popular, its art scene and historical background being very catchy for many international artists and galleries. Fairs like Contemporary Istanbul and Art International Istanbul have thousands of visitors each year and galleries are expanding their spaces, wellcoming new artists. But I'm very negative about the art scene in Turkey. I feel that art is only for a group of people in a country that has more than 70 million citizens. Turkey needs more educational support for art, so it is not only understood by the public, but also respected."  

Blog
"As a designer and fine arts graduated artist I always visit galleries and I observed that people were so shy to enter galleries, go to exhibition openings, or they were just walking around so fast in galleries. I started thinking about this and I found out that some gallery statements were too hard to read and understand, which scares people so that they force themselves to understand something. My first blog post was a guide, writing about "how to visit art galleries". Then I started visiting galleries and writing about what I like and what I feel in an easier way. In one year time I had 40 exhibition posts on my blog and this became a passion for me. I didn't want my blog to be only about exhibition writing and I added some artistic topics, interesting books, movies, decoration ideas to catch the attention of people who might be interested in arts. Writing an art blog really helped me to meet great artists, gallerists, and curators. Once the galleries started sending me free catalogues, books, and invitations, I said to myself that I am on the right way. I also use instagram to inform people about my posts, to show them artworks, and direct them to my blog talking about the exhibitions that I visited."   

Expertise 
"I am an Interior Architect and TV Set/Stage Designer. I am also connected to art but I don't like to call myself an artist yet. My educational background helps me to look at an exhibition with its total aura: the lighting, the stimulation of the art works and how they were exhibited, the athmosphere of the gallery, human factors, and all architectural approaches to an exhibition catch my eye." 

Money 
"If I was  writing about beauty tips maybe I would earn money from advertisements but since I am writing about a topic in which a less amount of people are interested, I do not earn money from blogging. As I mentioned above, I do get invitation emails, catalogues, free press tickets and entrances to fairs, signed books from galleries and artists, which are so valuable. Social media is the new feudality, so having more followers, readers, and visitors is valuable too." 

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