Mamut Limited Vol.1 pop-up , the first exhibition of the Mamut Art Project team's Mamut Limited (Artist Editions) project, which aims to meet all creative people working in different fields and techniques from visual arts to design, music to fashion, took place at Yapı Kredi bomontiada between September 16-October 1, 2023. We are introducing the artists of this year's Mamut Limited, which will present special selections throughout the year on its online platform mamutlimited.com. Our twelfth guest is Gabriel Vorbon
Let’s start by discussing your artistic journey. After graduating from the Istanbul Technical University Interior Architecture department, you studied Interior Design at ESDAPC (Escola Superior de Disseny i d'Arts Plàstiques de Catalunya) in Barcelona. What inspired you and how did you start making art?
I think being an artist is a pain that comes from birth, and analyzing that pain continues throughout childhood. At some point, after everything you've tried to relieve that pain, you try to produce. And when you realize that it feels good, the weight of being lost decreases. Thus, you have the enthusiasm and courage to produce more. I think that I also had such a process, it was a matter of my existence. There was something that I couldn't find the right piece to put together and express, art became my voice and photography became my language. My uncle, who is interested in photography, comes to us on holiday every summer. I had the opportunity to examine and use his cameras, and during one of the summers he visited us. My process started when he gave me his camera as a gift.
I think being an artist is a pain that comes from birth, and analyzing that pain continues throughout childhood. At some point, after everything you've tried to relieve that pain, you try to produce. And when you realize that it feels good, the weight of being lost decreases.
How does your local culture and environment influence your artistic work? Do materials and techniques find an echo in this network of interaction?
The culture I settled in (Türkiye) is a culture that contains countless macro details, with all the beauty and its problems. When looked at closely, each can turn into a topic on its own. I think my local culture is teaching me how to look closely, and with that my productions become either visual or thematic and I choose to focus on more detailed frames. Specific state of an emotion or a detail from a body can create my whole story. The environments I live in change the shape my production. It directly affects me, currently I continue my production mainly in Barcelona. If we consider my shots as the "output", I create as an intermediary material, and this output is currently in need of its climate and inspiration. Therefore, I can say that the city I live in has a great impact on my art.
Gabriel Vorbon, Whim series, Fine art print, 110×160 cm, 80×116 cm or 60×87 cm, Edition of 9+2
Your works combine fashion and architecture in a cinematographic line. The viewer wanders among the geometric forms, body details and lively movements. What do you try to tell the world? Can you talk about what attracts you to fashion and architecture?
To be honest, I did not have a specific interest in fashion, what I wanted was to focus on human beings. The rest came as complementary items. Even though I still believe the best clothing piece someone can wear is their own skin, sometimes fashion helps me change that. Seeing where the subjects I shot could go with the support of the space made me realize that architecture is an important element in the production. Even if it is sometimes an empty land, the power of place in photography is one of the fixtures in my work. In fact, during my Interior Architecture education, I was more interested in the idea of “How will I integrate this slanted eye into my work?" rather than “becoming an architect in the future”. I'm usually trying to show the world things we might have missed. Project Self Portrait video project, which I am currently working on with the participation of approximately 30 people, is actually one of the fresh examples of this.
I want to talk about the Whim series that we saw in Mamut Limited. What is the story of the series?
The Whim series is based on personal aching. It has a special place in my heart both in terms of its subject and visuals. I realized that, when you move somewhere, your mind doesn't necessarily move with you. The year I first moved to Spain nothing went right for almost a year. A lot was happening in the country I left my parents and friends in, and it was a long and harsh period where I came to conclusion that Barcelona was not waiting for me with open arms. Unfortunately, I couldn't find someone I could explain these nor be understood. Because my need to be understood was not satisfied, I expressed these feelings on a bank next to the train station, pigeons on the ground, on a random video on YouTube. I was doing it on other channels, like the comment box under the Lana Del Rey cover video. I was trying to connect with other species and objects in order to somehow satisfy this need. In the Whim series, we witness the effort to communicate with other species based on this desire to be understood. The person in the series represents me, and the horses represent everything other than the person I am trying to connect with.
Gabriel Vorbon, Whim series, Fine art print, 110×73 cm, Edition of 5+1 OR 60×40 cm, Edition of 4+1
Is producing a successful work for you a matter of personal satisfaction or appreciation from the art world? Can you elaborate on this topic?
For me it's mainly about my personal satisfaction. If my production pleases me, it is
a sufficient criterion for I trust my own system of judgment and evaluation. For me it's mainly about my personal satisfaction. If my production pleases me, it is a sufficient criterion for me to trust my own system of judgment and evaluation. If I save a file, it has reached that stage because that file really satisfies me. Of course, receiving appreciation from the art world is also significant, however in this comparison it remains secondary. Since taste is a very subjective thing, every production will be loved by some and not loved by others at the same time. Achieving peace with this idea brings with it mental peace.
If we consider my shots as the "output", I create as an intermediary material, and this output is currently in need of its climate and inspiration. Therefore, I can say that the city I live in has a great impact on my art.
How do you balance the artistic and technical aspects of photography to get the results you want?
Why do I like a photograph? Is it just what it tells, a story, is it the way it shows the story itself, or a combination of both? I am trying to work on the combination of the two, and while I am achieving something with the effort I put in this area, sometimes the artistic part of the job becomes a beacon, and sometimes the technical stance becomes a guide. Before taking a shot, I try to keep the preliminary research part long, I try to spend time and get to know the place and the subject I will shoot. There are plans in my head (or in the files and notes I prepared) as if the shooting was done, but this is just to clear the dust in my mind. When I start shooting, I can stir up the dust and take completely different paths, and I enjoy taking this job into the unknown.