Producing works of art that blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality, Bekir Smolski recreates what he calls the “magic” of light in his oil paintings. Trees, sand, and ice freeze in time under the tight and confident strokes of Smolski’s brush while light makes its way into his painting, giving life to glowing and serene “unreal landscapes.” In some works, figures are integrated into the rain or mist while in others, trees stand dark and animated against the subtly dramatic scenes.
Bekir Smolski takes his inspiration from his own personal journey and creates the most luminous and captivating works of art. His aim is to create an alternate space for the viewer in order to give them an opportunity to “explore their inner worlds and search for the source of light within themselves.”
Did you always have this kind of sensitivity towards light in your art or was there an experience that inspired your style? Who are your artistic influences?
Stained glass windows in ancient churches have always fascinated me. The play between reflection and refraction in the stained glass pieces that I have experienced left a huge mark on me. My artistic development has been highly influenced by the way these stained glass artworks interact with light. In fact, for many years I worked with the same media too. Once I took to painting, my fascination towards light naturally followed me and played an important role in the development of my own artistic style. My experience of creating stained glass works allows me to distribute the light within a painting by making specific ascents or, at other times filling up spaces, in order to achieve unique emotional conditions and recreate the “magic” of light.
Romantic painters like William Turner have also greatly influenced me. The glorifying depth of his landscapes and the movement of light within the space really inspires me.
What do you mean by “unreal landscape”?
My “unreal landscapes” are illusions of reality. I reflect on the blurred boundaries between actually witnessing nature and fantasy. Creating a close depiction of the world for the viewer, I employ artistic tools like depth, perspective, and play of light. My landscapes give me, as well as my viewers, the opportunity to discover a new vision and to contemplate about those things that are seemingly known to us but, in fact, are complete mysteries. These altered realities, or “unreal landscapes”, bring out unfamiliarity in the familiar.
Do you get inspired by real locations or are these dreamlike landscapes imaginary?
I am definitely inspired by nature, the expanse of natural settings, the colors of different seasons, and even odors. The interacting branches of the trees, the flowing water in streams and rivers, the sky lit up with moonlight and the rays of the sun peeking through the clouds, all serve as artistic motivations for me.
However, fragments of city life too, inspire me to create. Observing the street lights in the city, colorful billboards, or even the folds of clothes hanging from balconies, helps me create compositions in my mind for future works. When something interesting strikes me, I feel this strong urge to transfer it onto my canvas.
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Spheres, trees, and flowing water are prominent symbols in your current works. What do they represent?
Human being needs all four elements for survival: Air – sky; Water – sea, rivers, clouds, and fog; Earth – mountains, fields; and Fire – light. My artistic inspiration comes from symbols created from these integral aspects of life.
Spheres represent the concept of origin or birth, from the micro (cell or drop) to the macro-cosmic (Earth, the sky, the planets and the stars). Light depicts the direction one needs to take to achieve the ultimate goal of life. Water, much like time, is constantly on the move and therefore, represents transience. Trees are a symbol for life itself and the interaction between living things. Their branches and roots penetrate the space like blood vessels in a body. They hold all four elements together on our planet.
Your Illusion Of Reality series is done in oil paints, however, the texture seems very different and unique. What is the process involved in those works?
I used modeling paste to create my paintings for the “Illusion Of Reality” series. When applied with a palette knife, the paste creates an uneven surface perfect for producing some texture in the painting. Once the layer has dried, I begin painting with my oil paints. As I go further, the liquid paint fills in all the remaining gaps and produces a beautiful effect for me to work with. My paintings are not a single layer, I repeat the entire process of applying the oil paints several times in order to create the desired result. With each step, the image becomes clearer but, at the same time, transparent and flickering.
Do you have a personal favorite among your works? Why?
Every new painting that I create is my favorite. The creation of every artwork brings a discovery of something new and helps me achieve a new level of skill. The processes of creating an artwork and viewing the end result are both very satisfying and happy moments. However, in order to aim for further development of my style, I constantly keep in mind that I have not created my masterpiece yet.
Collectors often relate to the art they buy emotionally, and more often than not, it is because they identify with the artist’s process. Whether you are looking to decorate an entire home, complete a room, or add vitality and professional credibility to an office space you will find the perfect piece on ARTmine. Need help in finding the perfect piece that really speaks to you? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bekir Smolski’s “unreal landscapes” will be on view until October 17th as part of Pathways exhibition. You can also view his works on his ARTmine page . Read more about him and his technique on his artist profile.