Eigensinn, 2021. Edition of 850 copies. 5 different covers, open-stich binding, 120 pp., 59 overpainted color illustrations, 90 x 120 mm. Photographs and design by Asli Oezcelik.
In March 2020 I started experimenting with adding paint to my pictures and immediately fell in love with it. I guess it was because working with paint was completely new for me and therefore I allowed myself to make mistakes and felt more open to coincidences than I normally do, but with the photograph underneath it, I still had a base of something familiar.
I remember a night where I stumbled upon Gerhard Richters overpainted photographs while searching for inspiration and being so excited about his work I couldn't sleep properly the whole night. The next morning all my friends woke up to a dozen of text messages from me expressing how much I feel like I found a treasure. I immediately went to the next art supply store and bought even more paint and tools to experiment with.
So for a couple of months, all I did was going through my archive in order to find new pictures, taking a walk to the next copy shop or drugstore to get them printed, and painting all over them while feeling the excitement of seeing my own photographs for the first time again. I loved to see how the photograph changed, how the paint pointed out different parts of it or destroyed the actual image and drew the attention completely to itself. With some photographs, it worked so well that I felt like they just now began to make sense, some others I tried to paint over multiple times and it just didn't feel right and so I tried my way through.
Being way too optimistic as I sometimes am when I feel excited about an idea, I thought making a book out of these photographs will probably be easy, since they're all overpainted now and somehow have to share the same context and work well together... After two very randomly put-together dummies, I had to admit to myself that it is not as easy as I thought it would be and that I'd have to find a concept, at least a vague one. Don't get me wrong, this was the first time I did something like this and I don't think it turned out perfect, but I do know that I have done everything I basically could and that I'm very happy with it. And I guess that's what matters in the end. - Asli Oezcelik