Who is Kaybid ?
Your street artist name is Kaybid ? Is it your real name ?
Does it mean something special ?
Kaybid is not my real name.
It is a play on words that I made up that signifies the lost values. Not “value loss” in the economic sense, but of the things that used to be valuable to us but have lost their meaning along the way.
Are you a woman or a man ? How old are you ?
I’m not very old, but I might not be considered young either.
Have you studied art ?
Yes, I studied painting the Faculty of Fine Arts and then completed my Master’s with a thesis that consisted of a long series of performances.
Is street Art your main occupation ?
Certainly yes these days, but not just Street art.
Visual Arts and Performance Art are my main areas of work. I am interested and occupied with other disciplines and techniques also. From the most traditional to the modern, I utilize different methods, ways of expression and materials that can deliver my work best.
I have you discovered you work in Istanbul. Do you live there ?
I live in Istanbul and currently I work here and am inspired by here. I have lived in other cities of Turkey before, and have created performances on the streets.
When did you started to do street art ? Wild animals was your first work ? Do you work with a team ?
Including my performances (which were mostly also on the streets) I guess it’s been around 20 years.
I work alone. I actually have a “partner in crime” who helps and supports me. My partner in crime comes with me when I’m working most times. To me my partner in crime is the witness and accompanist who makes “kaybid” real, since it can be said that reality begins when observed 🙂
What is your main inspiration? Are you influence by others artists ?
To be honest I have many motivation points, they come from all around. Literature, philosophy, music, painting, film, art, technology, science, politics… There are many thinking and practical etudes.
I have things that inspire from all genres, all eras, and all movements. Some are conceptually very powerful, some are visually. What I mean is that I can find myself in other realities also and feel grateful for all the humans independent of their personalities.
How did you decided to paint animals ?
More than a decision, this is a process. Meand the animals found ourselves here as a continuation of the process. It wasn’t an “okay now I’ve made this decision, now I will make small animals on the walls, walls watch out!” moment. Truthfully, this is point that I came to after the work of a few years. It couldn’t have been otherwise. 🙂
The kaybid project began in September. I had been preparing for that conceptually and technically for about a year. this is actually the first step of a three-fold project. walking “with slow and silent steps…” 🙂
You introduce wild life in a city. Istanbul is changing a lot, getting bigger, more people … Is it a way to reintroduce natural elements in the city ?
Humankind is strange. They only allow a few other species to share their habitat. The rest cannot live. Humans drive other beings away from them and hence result in their lost values.
Kaybid touches upon this matter also. To all those beings that are cohabitants of the earth, that shall with small and silent steps organically pass through the reality of the city, a space where they can’t inhabit, nor would really want to. 🙂
None of them are permanent. Both their action and their material are not built to last. They are just passing by. I guess cities are not necessarily spaces that would require them to stay anyway.
Still, without any aggression, their small size and their ephemeral nature is what will compose a moment and a sensation of awareness to those that will stumble upon them.
I really like the patchwork of colors of your animals , which technic do you use ?
I actually use a variety of techniques, not just one.
How do you stick your animals ?
With glue 🙂
Are your working on others projects?
Nothing specific these days. “kaybid” is the only project that I’m occupied with. But I do have other projects that are waiting for their time to come. They will rise to the surface when the timing is right.
Street Art in Turkey
Is Street Art popular in Istanbul ? in Turkey in general ?
i don’t know what to say to this 🙂
“of course it is popular, but according to what”, or “nope, not really, it’s not popular, nobody cares”.
It all depends on what you mean by popularity. There are many artists who have been working for years, those who have been smelling the streets and changing the city ultimately with their work. of course it’s not just them, there are emerging ones as layers on the walls. There is some work that short-lived or enduring are mesmerizing.
The Mural Works are clearly a trend that consists of many good works. Some city municipalities have been supporting Mural art with competitions and festivals. Some stores commission pieces for their exterior walls etc. All of this can somehow exist for commercial or political purposes, or for any other meaning, somehow. Whatever anyone does, is clearly their own responsibility.
Gallery vs Street
Have you ever exhibited your work in a gallery ? Is it something you would like to do or are you focused on streets ?
A gallery space and street art are completely independent things.
In the gallery even the time passes differently as compared to the street. I have been shown in exhibitions, solo or group -have done performance art, or presented paintings and collages. The work should be presented in whatever area and through whichever presentation it requires.
Street art is ephemera. is it frustrating when one of your animals disappears?
It makes me sad. It makes me really sad. I create every single one of them with a long process that requires a lot of work. Some are torn without even making it through one day. I
do my best to make them live longer, but the next day I look at it too see it completely gone, or painted over, or with just one piece left. At this point, I could tell you that this deconstruction is in truth very similar to the motion I employ when creating the works themselves. Still; I say to myself that this is their life and their lifetime. Meaning that one animal was only supposed to last that much in the city.
This is why the social media interactions are very important. I thank all those that see and photograph these animals. They are not just witnessing the “passing through” of these animals but also they document it. Because I can’t keep track of them all, we get to learn the stories from the social media “shares”.
Some are painted over, some are hunted with arrows drawn over them, some are torn… And the viewers follow and record this process. The animals exist outside of me now… and as they are there, they belong to whomever they attract. Some humans approach them wildly, some with compassion. This in truth is a matter of who they are.
We can find many street art accounts on Instagram.
Do you think social media is helping artists to get visibility ?
Social media is a common ground where everybody can come together under one specific cause, to see and be seen. It’s not just instagram but other social media and content makers also allow for this to happen. A singular account may not serve this as well as the whole network. Every “share” is a value and the value of what is “”shared” is measured by the reaction it receives. Which is why the content creator’s self awareness and social consciousness is what matters more than the account itself.
I currently share my work through instagram, accompanied by a google map that shows all animals that have been out whether they still exist or not. goo.gl/VNCbyD the link is also on my instagram profile.
Have you ever seen people looking at your animals in the street ? What is a nice feeling ?
It is an amazing feeling, I sometimes see people photographing them, and I approach them asking “Oo what is that ? A deer ??” 🙂 as if I don’t know…
And again, I always ask my followers who share their reactions honestly, and who send me messages, because the motivation they give is very high. Sometimes I see an animal I thought was barely visible shared on instagram and I say to myself: “There ! It’s working !”.
Maybe, with the protoghraphs they are taming each other. Those that see them take ownership of them when they photograph and share them. At a certain point it becomes a game. There are some that go out hunting the “kaybid”s. I live their excitement through them. This is an amazing pleasure and it is mutual.
You are one of them too, and look where it brought us 🙂
Thank you again, Elise, for sharing, photographing and bearing witness 🙂