New York based and self-taught photographer Zeren Badar originated from Turkey and is hugely influenced by dadaism and neo-dadaism. Following Jasper John’s famous quote “Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.” the artist turns pre-existing works into Duchampian ready mades, creating collages with found objects, food and cheaply printed paintings for his project “Accident Series”. He reduces the details and forms of the paintings by covering them with objects and food, using strong shadows, layering, crumpling and folding effects to give his work a three dimensional sense. By using unexpected juxtapositions of objects, Badar creates an ambiguity, pulling the viewer’s attetention deeper into his photography. For more information and images of his artwork, visit www.zerenbadar.com.
Whom do you look up to?
After searching for my own voice in art, I don’t really look up to anyone. There are artists I’m influenced by such as Duchamp & Sigmar Polke.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
My husband has given me big support all these years. He supported me every step away. He encourages me and helps me every day. He has a big contribution to who I’m today as an artist. I’m thankful and grateful to him.
What made you want to become an artist?
I started taking photography seriously in 2010. After working in fashion almost 20 years, I needed to have a different creative outlet. I’m a self-taught artist. I have a strong urge to create something. The feeling is unstoppable. I wished I would have started years earlier than 2010.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’m a humorous, unexpected and hard-worker.
What was your favourite project and why?
My favourite project is Accident Series. It is so much fun working with old paintings and banal objects. It got also so much attention. After this project, gallery curators and collectors started taking me very seriously. I’m currently working on another project, which is called “After Brillo”. It is much more difficult and complicated than Accident Series. I like it because it forces me to do different things. It challenges me technically and makes me learn more.
Quotes and Wisdoms
How do you define creativity?
Creativity is a strange feeling. It constantly comes up from my inside. It is almost sugar rush. It is also addictive. I ask myself constantly what’s next?
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as an artist?
Challenges are changing every year. My first biggest challenge was understanding the light. It took me long time to set it straight. My current challenge is finding a gallery space to show. The art world is very competitive in NYC. It is very saturated. Since I’m very new in the art business and I just started showing at galleries recently, it takes time to build up resume.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
“Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it,” (Jasper Johns)
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Be self-confident! Don’t question yourself! There will be a lot of rejections along the way. Stay strong and improve yourself everyday.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Drink less, sleep more and create something every day!
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for art?
I would love to give up my day job and focus on art 24/7. But economics are not allowing me to do so at this point. Hopefully I will achieve this in couple of years.
All images © Zeren Badar