Erol Gündüz

I am fascinated by the earth for I draw inspiration from elemental forces and the emotional dynamics of lived experience. I often walk through environments with the hope that I may quiet my mind enough to establish an intuitive relationship with these places. Once sensitive to a space, I imagine and daydream like I did as a child where I playfully envision fantastic beings that would be native to the space. These beings are people; they represent the diversity of our experience and the complexity of our characters. By presenting these beings as sculpture, I hope to remind everyone that we are all connected to one another by suggesting a reality where cohabit the world with fantastic beings that resemble us. These sculptures also serve as a physical record of important connections that I have come to understand between the worlds I perceive and my concern for the happiness of others. I believe my work is only successful when I am truly able to make people smile.

I believe there is little difference between the fine arts and design and between work and play. When creating sculpture, the specific considerations of my art practice exist in my mind as rules of a game. This game includes attempting to see how long I can sustain my sensitivity to the emerging needs of my sculpture as one would attend to the needs of a living being. I try to support the growth of the sculpture by observing its evolving form, paying attention for visual clues to what it wants to become in relationship to the world around it. In this process, my art also draws from my playful observations and experiences of the world which I hope to reflect to viewers of my work. All too often, it is easy to succumb into monotonous routines or fall prey to negative thinking. In response to this, my intention is to create artwork that also inspires others to take chances, be spontaneous, and enjoy life as a game.

I have always been interested in magic and I am certain that I always will be. For me, art making is a form of magic. It is the personal drive to organize materials such as metal, ceramic, and glass into whimsical characters that may uplift and inspire others. I value the simplicity, permanence, and direct honesty of these materials; they are as much a part of the identities of the beings I create as the personalities that are presented by their forms. While the design and composition of my sculptures are important to my work; my drive to create sculpture is not solely focused on these formal considerations. There is a third criteria that exists outside of words and the which cannot be easily identified; it is a connection, an emotion, or a feeling that may reminds us that there is magic in the world. Perhaps, we have simply forgotten where to look for it.

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