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Artist & lock down : Denizhan or "The waiting man"

During this time of worldwide quarantine, there have been some questioning about how artists were facing this period of time and if their work were impacted in any way.


You may already know Deniz, an intern artist from Istanbul who came to work at SAMA almost 2 months ago. Deniz is 26 years old and is passionate about arts. He has been drawing since he was young, but he’s been consciously drawing since the age of 15 when he began to really go deep into it. Deniz liked showing other people the cartoons he was drawing and this is when he began to realize he liked it. During that time, Deniz was kicked out of his formal education because he was not considered to be a « good » student. After working for a while, he decided to get back to studies and applied to university where he could study what he liked: art.

Deniz’s work is very unusual and not familiar, but this is the beauty of his work. he usually takes inspiration from life problems that he or people he knows are facing. He likes to conciliate his work with his life so that both can be on the same rhythm. Deniz usually works on canvas, board or portable surfaces in his workshop. He does not need much to start working on a new work; he only needs space and time. One good aspect of the lock down is that it is offering him plenty of time to draw and paint.


After the announcement of the pandemic, Deniz was facing a dilemma, stay in Amsterdam, or going back to where he came from : Istanbul. He didn’t want to waste the opportunity he had in Amsterdam and didn’t want to cancel this long-awaited trip so early. Moreover, Turquey is also not a very safe country and he really felt that he should stay in Amsterdam during this difficult period. Also, the opportunity to see the « Empty Amsterdam » was something he wanted to experience. Frotuntaly, after living in a hostel for 1 month, he finally found a room to share in Nieuw-West. Deniz represents himself as a loner, so the fact of being locked down alone is really not a problem for him. He actually needs this time alone, sometimes just to sit and think. This is time he really needs in his life. He still does not know is the lock down will have a real affect on his drawings but he definitely knows that his drawings will tell a part of the lock down story. For example, he is drawing what he calls ‘the waiting man’, as a result of the virus forcing us to wait.  

Moreover, as part as his work for university, Denizhan worked on several paintings that are more than ever a kind of reflection of today's situation... Indeed, Deniz represented himself in different situations of his daily life, alone. He called his collection "Daily home state of a lonely man". Pretty confusing since the situation in which we are living right now, right ? I mean... Pretty similar !

Have a look on it :


Does it make you think about another artist ? Because once we saw Denizhan's work, the SAMA team thought about the paintings by Edward Hopper during the Spanish flu (1918-1920), which are called “Images from Self-Isolation and Social Distancing”.

Have a look on it below :

Pretty similar work and techniques, right ?

These paintings can tell that this worldwide pandemic time was not the first the world had known... Isolation and social-distancing are subject that are coming over and over through time.

Besides drawing, Deniz has other hobbies like music. In fact, he’s looking to expand his skills and start create his own sound. He would like to start working on it once he is able to have the proper equipment to get started. Deniz believes that the quarantine will have an impact on any artists’ work. As it is a global and unusual situation, people will be willing to show their art and to express themselves in such a period. Deniz also believes that digitalization growth will definitely happen during this quarantine period since social media becomes the only way to communicate these days.

Deniz is actually often actualizing his Instagram account to show people his work. Let’s have a look on several of his drawings during quarantine :

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