There's no specific moment I can point to. I've been making things since I was a baby.
My parents have always been very supportive. They noticed my inclination towards visual art at a very early age and have guided me in pursuing it. I feel extremely lucky in that sense. I did not make a conscious decision to become an artist. I had some things I wanted to say and the way I said them turned out to be art.
My undergraduate art education in Turkey was conceptually driven. I was encouraged to disregard the object and focus on my ideas. This has given me the rigor of thoroughly questioning why I make the things I make, what they might mean and why it's necessary that I make them.
I don't think I would use the term industry for any context related to art, but if you mean comparing the two art worlds, I would say they are pretty much similar. There are fairs, biennials, museums, galleries, collectors and artists. Of course, the American art world dwarfs the Turkish one in terms of the market and funds, but that is an economic reality, which only mirrors the larger one.
I question and analyze how technological progress effects creativity, consuming habits and physical presence in the world. For several years I've been investigating the idea of original content. It began when I asked myself how an artist could create a unique and universally recognizable visual language within an infinite image realm: the internet. The idea of immediate recognizability within the image economy and the value that this creates on the physical object have been my primary interests. In order to follow this process, I came up with a literal alphabet of shapes that I combine and recombine to generate compositions. No final shape must resemble the previous shapes and no shape must reference any object in the world. Painting, in this sense, is only a means of creating these information vessels.
I have just completed and shipped a group of work for the New Orleans Biennial. Currently, I am spending my time reading, writing, thinking, absorbing information and making connections. Slowly working on some new paintings in the studio to let ideas loose visually. I will soon start working towards my solo show at Jessica Silverman Gallery coming up in March and also a book project that has been on the burner for quite some time.
I started making art digitally and came to making physical objects and paintings in a roundabout way. Therefore, I can safely say each has it's own setbacks and advantages. Personally, the beauty is being able to create something that could co-exist in both realms. This is something I strive towards and always consider when making my work. I don't think it's important that contemporary artists go beyond painting and use digital devices. It all depends on what you're most comfortable with and what you're trying to convey.