Artists produce thought-provoking works amid pandemic
With the global COVID-19 pandemic altering people’s lives and work, artists have been learning to adapt to the new world while reflecting the unprecedented crisis in their work.
Plagues have been a common theme throughout history for artists - unable to remain indifferent in the wake of such pain and suffering caused by tragic disease outbreaks that killed millions and turned lives upside down over the centuries.
Depicting these plagues in their artworks, they have left behind “documents” of their era for future generations.
In an exclusive interview, the state-run Anadolu Agency asked two artists how the COVID-19 outbreak affected their lives.
“At the beginning [of the pandemic], I had to close my workshop, and I turned my home’s living room into a workshop, as well as an online school for my daughter,” said artist Ece Günaçar, who paints while also working in textiles and other disciplines.
Speaking on how the virus has affected artists in terms of creativity and innovation, she said: “I started printing my works on masks. I said if we cannot open an exhibition, then we will exhibit our works on people’s faces.”
Noting that she produced a lot of work during this period, Günaçar said: “I discovered my limits. I got stronger. The days are full, and the time is limited. As it turns out, the clock is ticking in traffic and conversations with friends. Now it’s time to produce more.”
Günaçar believes that the period will positively affect artists who have a stable mindset, are at peace with themselves, productive, open to improvement, and believe that in the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity.
Senarist Resul Ertaş said the pandemic did not affect his life too much.
“Before COVID started, I was at home and working all day due to my job. And, now too, I am at home and working all day long.”
Ertaş, who draws cartoons and illustrations as a hobby, said he had redrawn famous paintings in art history by adapting them to children and shared them on social media.
“COVID-19 immediately reflected on my work. I drew famous figures in the world of painting, such as the “Mona Lisa,” “Van Gogh,” “Frida,” “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” and many other figures with masks in a bid to draw attention to the mask issue once again,” he said.
These works were known and followed by a relatively small audience, but since the outbreak started, they have reached a wider audience, he added.
“I think that like everything else, COVID-19 too shall pass. People who look at the pictures I have drawn will wonder why these figures are masked, and those who are very careful will be aware of the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of research,” Ertaş noted.
“Maybe I’m a diehard optimist, but I don’t even want to think the other way round, where people who look at my paintings years later are still wearing masks,” he added.