The art director and illustrator Murat Yildrim believes that modern art is going digital, which is why surreal creations with cool colours and soft shades in 3D and 4D are his speciality. The Turkish artist is a perfectionist, as he assures us that he does not finish a creation until he has managed to impress himself. An example of this would be Furry Artworks, which he describes as his masterpiece in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as Refuge, Dispute and Change which are some of the series this artist has managed to massively impress us with.
Murat, you describe yourself as an art director and illustrator and your greatest passion is to create pictorial compositions and produce artistic works. When did the art world begin to interest you? Did it change your worldview?
The art world started to interest me as a child. My grandmother used to draw pictures and I would be impressed by her doing that. I can say that I gained my visual and auditory emotions as a child.
How would you describe your aesthetic in a few words?
Poetic, surreal and inspiring.
You create surreal colourful 3D works with animals, natural elements or inanimate objects and sometimes in the absence of gravity, giving the feeling that the elements are falling apart or that they are deformed. What inspires you on the daily basis to make the compositions? Do they come from your creative imagination, are they based on personal experiences and emotions?
I believe animals and nature add a lot of strength to my compositions. I use objects purely as a metaphor. Actually, my inspiration process is not easy for me. Sometimes I need to think about a topic for a day or a few weeks. Often, stories with freedom or captivity trigger my imagination. Here, I reach a point by pushing the limits of my imagination. Creating a job for me consists of three stages. One, the idea. Two, imagination (emotion). And three, my experiences.
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 10.jpg
Your speciality is graphic art. What is graphic art for you?
Graphic art is currently the most important tool for artists like me who are moving from traditional art to digital. Especially the digitalisation of modern art provides convenience for everyone. But this also has certain difficult parameters. If you know the current design principles, you only need to learn the program. If you try to make graphic art from scratch, it can tire you. Therefore, in order to be able to make graphic art, you must know classical art principles and educate your aesthetic perception well. In summary, I believe that graphic art is a vehicle that provides comfort between art and artist.
You also work a lot with motion graphics like with the series Deformer for Life, Dead Air or Bye. How long does it usually take from when you have the idea until you do it?
I draw a lot of sketches before I create the scenes. The process develops differently in the videos. I review over and over again the music I will use and the dynamics that will activate the audience's emotions. For example, I'm trying to get the right auditory music to support a movement in a video. I always try to create the right materials at the right moment. Before the video ends, I go towards the finish line, trying to feel the finished form in my head. This also takes longer than usual. For example, the Dead Air video lasted 4 days. I repeat myself until the scene I created impresses me.
In the beginning, you used to work with classical painting and graphic illustration, now it seems that you have changed your style and focus on 3D visual design and animation and cinema 4D. Why did you decide to make this change?
I decided to make this change because I believe modern art is going digital. After completing my studies in traditional painting vertical, I reshape the art trends of the digital world in this direction and produce them in an original form. I enjoy the 3D visual world and it excites me. I think cinema in 4D is a world where I can show my imagination to people as it is. Therefore, I will continue to work in 3D for a long time.
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 1.jpg
You also created projects where the calmness and the peaceful atmosphere are intended, for example, in Refuge, where you used nude shades and soft light or in Pearl, where elegance is key. Refuge has something to do with the Syrian refugees in Istanbul, right? As you're used to working many times with more saturated colours, I am surprised that, in this case, you use much softer colours, which I imagine is done with all the intention, why did you decide to give such a delicate subject this visual treatment?
I've been trying to set a standard for my own aesthetics for a long time. I like to use cool colours and soft shades both in terms of composition and colour palette. In the Refuge series, I came up with this work, not only the refugees in Istanbul but also everyone who could not embrace their place in the world.
I am fascinated by your project Furry Artworks, in which you have reinterpreted some classic paintings like Mona Lisa from da Vinci, The Scream from Munch, The Starry Night from Van Gogh or The Persistence of Memory from Dalí. Where did the idea of taking some of the most famous paintings in the world come from? I love that with just some features the pictures are fully identifiable.
I have been impressed by classical and modern art throughout my life. So I decided to reshape these works in an extraordinary and innovative form. When I scanned the fur in the direction of brush strokes, I made sure that the detail in the works was as little as possible in order not to disrupt the general form.
You combine the colours of all images and used the fur in a digital way. Could you tell us about the artistic process behind it?
It has long been common to reproduce the world's most famous paintings by imitation. For the first time in my life, I decided to revive a work done in the past with a unique technique in the world. For this, I worked on this technique for a long time. I thought, how can I reproduce a work done before in the most different way? I developed the idea of combing the fur in the direction of brush strokes. I knew that there should be very little detail in the picture I will use in doing this. That's why I used the most outstanding pictures.
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 8.jpg
Tell us a bit about the Change project. What do Whatsapp, Pepsi, VSCO and Coca-Cola have in common for that you have chosen some of these brands in this project and change the perception we have about them?
In the Change series, I took a post-modern approach and shaped some of the popular brands in a primitive way and some according to other needs forms. I enjoyed producing these works because I believed anyone who saw the Coca Cola brand as a fire tube would be amazed. This is the case in general life theory. When human perception is out of the ordinary, it is sometimes unresponsive and sometimes surprised. I created all these brands in different ways because I was totally curious about the reactions to this change of perception.
You assure that “The only factor that motivated you in 2020 was the quarantine times during the pandemic. Time is all artist needs.” This is a very positive way to see it. So, do you miss having more time in your day-to-day? Would you say that we tend to organise our time badly? Or simply the society in which we live inevitably pushes us to do so?
The first 3 months of the pandemic were productive for me. By internalising my feelings, I produced many works and Furry Artworks, which I describe as my masterpiece, emerged. But now I am also experiencing the downsides of this situation taking a long time. When we get used to too much time, we can become inefficient. I always try to motivate myself but if you ask me, I can say that people are bored with this situation. The pandemic has served those who need time, but human communication now seems to be completely cut off. Meetings are held online, many education systems have started distance education. I think this situation is not good for humanity.
Apart from creating a new series, what did you do during these quarantine months? Did you take advantage of your spare time to do research for future projects?
Thanks to the work I produced during the quarantine period, I had the opportunity to establish brand collaborations. I have big professional goals in 2021 and I hope I will achieve everything I have created in my mind perfectly.
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 9.jpg
In Dispute, there are three arms holding each other in balance, you tried to explain that “The elements that are different from each other have to live together like people who think differently.” Is this project inspired by the situation of the world?
Absolutely right. I am not happy with the current state of the world. There are many societies where people of all kinds cannot coexist. I can not understand that. I believe that every person should have the right to equal life and I produced the Dispute series for this purpose.
Of all the series you have done so far, which one would you choose and why?
While answering this question, I am afraid of doing injustice to my own work. I have three favourite TV series that I have done with my heart until now. The first is Leftovers, the second is Dispute and the third is Nothingness. In my works, I usually try to work on the theme of freedom and captivity at the same time, and there are three TV series that I think reflect them in the most accurate way. I love these three series because they move me emotionally.
Do you have any upcoming projects we should be excited about? If so, explain to us a little what is about and waiting for more.
Actually, I have new projects that I have been working on for a long time. I am working on an artistic short film video. Apart from these, among my big goals for 2021, I have an attempt to establish my own studio. I have not mentioned this in my previous interviews, but as we enter 2021, I am sharing my excitement with you for the first time.
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 2.jpg
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 5.jpg
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 4.jpg
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 3.jpg
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 11.jpg
Murat Yildrim Metalmagazine 7.jpg