Home is where the art is.
In a nondescript home, pushed off to the side where your eyes wouldn’t know to look, lies the workshop of the Turkish Picasso, Avn Akmehmetoğlu. Its clandestine cover blown only after our new friend, Ümit, mentioned he had to quickly pick up a painting there. Unable to deny a perfect opportunity to discover something new, we decided to check it out. From the moment we walked in and were greeted by the cigarette smoking, paint covered, gentle soul in worn work pants, we were hooked. The art on the walls was an eclectic mix of emotion: some were reverent, some tumultuous, all of them interesting. After chatting for a few minutes, Avn invited us to tea and told us about his past and what inspires him to leave his heart on every canvas.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then the nature of Avn’s atelier will enchant all. The chaotic energy of colors haphazardly strewn about is drawn together by Avn’s extreme humbleness. More than an art form to him, he paints pictures not only with his hands but with his words as well.
I see worthy projects on a smart engineer’s face.
Good health on a caring doctor’s face.
A beautiful dress in the face of a capable tailor.
And prided stories on the face of a curious journalist.
I see those stories when I look at you.
– Avn Akmehmetoğlu, Turkish Picasso
Istanbul is filled with hidden treasures, its rich heritage engraved on the buildings and in its people. Wandering the streets and taking pictures was all that we had on our agenda, however, what started as a casual stroll, led us to this wonderful gallery. We didn’t know what was in store for us, or even what we were looking for, but in the end, finding our masterpiece turned out to be just around the corner.