Kurdish painter Sinan Hezer is set to showcase his latest solo exhibition “Yên dimeşin/Walkers”, which started on Friday 14 April and can be seen at Centre Social Carrefour in Rennes, France until 1 May.
The collection features Hezer’s trademark depictions of struggle across all aspects of life, presented through a range of symbolised forms in his artwork. “I believe that struggle requires stability and that there are many ways to approach this,” says Hezer. In his artwork, he reflects the experiences of women guerrillas, mekaps* identified with guerrilla forces, and the plight of people who have been forced to migrate.
Born in Elbistan in southeast Turkey in 1985, Hezer was surrounded by an artistic environment from an early age. “My older sister’s paintings inspired me to create my first pieces,” he says. He was five when his family realised he had a talent for drawing, and he started receiving formal training at a young age. He studied painting and interior architecture at Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts in Istanbul, Turkey, where he later worked as a painting instructor at youth and cultural centres. However, he found himself prisoned for five years over his paintings. “I was subject to censorship and pressure over my artwork,” Hezer told Yeni Yaşam newspaper.
Hezer believes that “art is interconnected and feeds from the same pool of creativity.” He is interested in architectural structures, artistic details and portraits, and also takes photographs, with some of his work featuring in youth magazines and newspapers. He creates stage decorations and book covers, and has held various solo and group exhibitions.
“For me, the most obvious area of struggle is the field of art,” Hezer said. “The medium’s effects are long-lasting.”
“The influence of art on social revolutions and individual agency is quite strong. In my artwork, we see the same reasons for struggle that we see in society,” Hezer added.
“Art can be exhibited in various ways, and the important thing is that it meets the public,” Hezer said. He has created covers for several books, with increasing demand every day. Hezer’s drawings often appear on covers of guerrilla memoirs, which impress him greatly. “I see my drawings as a continuation of my friends’ memories,” the artist said.
With his exhibition in Rennes, France, Hezer hopes to reach a wider audience and offer his unique perspective on struggle in society.
(*) Mekap is a shoe brand offering affordable shoes for mountaineering, hunting and daily work shoes. A particular leather-rubber yellow model it produces is popular among the Kurdish guerrillas.