‘Art at Pen Point’ by Nihat Özcan
Nihat Özcan, the Turkish representative of the art of carving pencils, done by a handful of artists in the world, carves world-famous monuments and figures, from the Eiffel Tower to Cappadocia and the Modigliani sculpture, on pencil tips.
Born in 1987, Özcan is one of the rare pencil carving artists in the world. He carves figures in miniature on the tips of pencils.
Özcan’s newest exhibition “Art at Pen Point” was opened at the Mall of Istanbul on Jan. 19 and can be visited through Feb. 19.
Özcan spoke about his works and the exhibition with the Hürriyet Daily News:
How did you come up with the idea of carving art into pencil points?
In most of the stages of my life, I took up hobbies that allowed me to shape and transform things, basing them on creativity. Fixing and modifying things have always been a part of my life. I was looking for an art discipline that allows you to use craftsmanship. One day I came across a photograph that pictured this art. After doing some research and not finding any Turkish artisans in this field, I decided to start from scratch and educate myself.
How long did it take you to create your first work?
I examined a lot of international artists’ works before starting. And then I acquainted myself with pencils. At that time I looked at it in a different and more respectful way. Taking my craft knife, I tried to shape Istanbul’s Galata Tower. It took me a few weeks to finish my first work.
How many works have you created so far?
I have a fulltime job. So it is hard to find time sometimes, but I carve pencils on weekends and in the evenings. So far I have finished 100 pieces.
What are the best and hardest parts of this?
This craftsmanship brought color to my life. It widens my imagination; there are no limits. It is like meditation. Of course it is a rocky road and you face a lot of difficulties. The hardest part is that pen points can break. Yet the best part is finishing a work and sharing it with people by exhibiting it.
How many pieces are exhibited at the “Art at Pen Point?”
I am very proud to be exhibiting 50 of my works at the Mall of Istanbul. They have supported me a lot, and within a very short time we created a really interesting exhibition. These pieces were all made by hand. This is an exhibition that was never realized in Turkey before. People should visit it; they will enjoy it.