I was born on November 24th in Vienna, Austria. I was in such a hurry to join the world that I opened my eyes in the ambulance en route to the hospital. At the time I was born, my parents were factory workers who had migrated to Austria from Istanbul, Turkey. When I was six years old, we moved back to Istanbul. There, I spent my childhood playing amid Byzantine walls, ancient Roman churches and Ottoman mosques. In this historic city, I grew up to become a photojournalist. Eight years later, in 2002, I decided it was time to leave the old empire behind and set foot in a brave new world. That world was New York City.
New York gave me the chance to create my life through art. I wanted to create moments, ideas, and ways to change the world. So I set out to do just that. Getting access to galleries and stores where I could display my photography proved difficult, if not impossible. So I found another – and arguably better – way to reach the eyes and ears of New Yorkers: I hit the streets. I showcased my work in front of museums, at art fairs, on the streets of Soho, and anywhere else where I could prop up a stand and chat up a crowd. Four years later, Studio Manhattan was born.
My goal is, and has always been, to create art and designs that enhance people’s lives. Making art out of everyday products is my way of creating, communicating, and bringing the world a little bit closer together.
As we approach the season of giving, I would like to give thanks to those who brought me – and Studio Manhattan – to this point.
I wish everybody a prosperous and peaceful holiday season.