OHNE DEN HYPE #59 / Jan 2022

It took me years to call myself an artist

mit Esra Gülmen (artist & designer)

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Esra Gülmen is a Berlin-based artist and designer from Turkey. Well, actually when we met she had just ended her very successful design career to be able to spend all of her time on her art. But that was a topic that we did not talk about while the tape was rolling since it wasn’t quite official yet. But I think you can hear in our conversation that her career in advertising is something that she had already kind of said good-bye to in her mind.

Esra has won many, many prices during her time in big agencies and she has worked with the biggest clients you can imagine, like Coca-Cola and McDonalds. And during all that time what made her work so special was the same thing that comes out in her art – and that’s her humor. She has a way of repackaging complex and sometimes touchy topic and ideas and showing them in a witty and poignant way. And that’s also what had attracted me to her work.

It took me a few months to convince her to come on the show, because, as she said herself, she sometimes tends to overthink things. But I’m very happy that I persisted and that she finally said yes, as I really enjoyed our talk.

By the way we met at the art gallery HVW8 in Berlin where she was part of a group show at the time. I feel I should mention that since I butchered their name during the episode more than once.

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