OMM Studio III: In Conversation with Melih Çebi

Melih Çebi on missing the streets.

Melih Çebi is a designer and illustrator known for his digital illustrations, acrylic paintings, and photographs created with various photo-manipulation techniques. Çebi embraces the “Lowbrow” art movement and uses elements of popular culture, grotesque forms, and sarcastic approaches in his works of art. This week’s OMM Studio finds us at Melih Çebi’s live-work space in Istanbul.

Can you tell us a bit about your practice? What were the biggest influences as you developed your style?

The canvas works I produce with minimal and highly-contrasted colors are usually iterations of my digital illustrations.

Did you have an upcoming exhibition or project that was cancelled due to COVID-19 and subsequent global crisis? Will your works be shown in the near future?

I was hoping to exhibit my canvas works in the near future, but due to the ongoing pandemic I’m not quite sure how to go about it.

What do you foresee for the post-pandemic art world? How has this period affected your practice?

As somebody who uses my home as both my living and working space, the time I used to spend outside was invaluable to my productivity. Staying indoors for this duration of time has speeded up the completion of works I had already begun, but I fear it’s put a strain on my creativity, as it has done for many artists with a similar routine. After the pandemic, I would like to move my practice outside and work on the street.

What are you currently focusing on in your work?

I am not focusing on concrete themes but rather working on the evolution of characters I had already been drawing for a while.

Have there been any artists or exhibits you’ve been especially moved by since the beginning of isolation?

Rather than the work of particular artists, I have been moved by the individual and collective works my friends have been making to express their feelings at this time.

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