This post is from a series of deeper dives into the work of artists contributing to #TezQuakeAid. For more information on how you can support the relief efforts, click here.
Reyhan Mente is an experimental photographer based out of Istanbul, Turkiye. 23 years old, she uses photography as a form of self-expression, drawing inspiration from her instinctive feelings, depression, and similar emotional states. Since the COVID pandemic she's been exploring different aesthetics of disturbance.
"Photography is the best way for me to express myself. Without the need for words, I can more easily communicate my feelings, and what I want to tell to others."
Reyhan has previously talked about her artistic and creative processes, such as in the NFT magazine, Mina Art issue #5 (starting on page 76). Lately, her primary focus has been on preparing for her first solo exhibition.
Art has been part of Reyhan's life from an early age, and is formally educated in both painting and photography. Currently working as a painting teacher and independent photographer, she's able to use both mediums to give her a sense of direction and find inspiration.
"Most of the time I feel like I'm painting while taking photos."
Deconstruction as a Process
One interesting aspect to Reyhan's work are her experiments with developing film in a darkroom. There's a visceral look and feel that you would be hard pressed to replicate in a purely digital manner. Each deconstructed image becomes uniquely Reyhan's style and furthers the "destroyed" aesthetic.
"I work on experimental photography in the darkroom because sometimes my process is improvised, and I can't control the situation. It's a completely different type of experience."
Open to Interpretation
While much of Reyhan's work has a consistent look and feel, she leaves the interpretation to the viewer. Her photography says a lot about the subjects, but it's up to the audience to decide what exactly is being said.
When asked if there was anything that she wanted people to understand about her work, Reyhan responded:
"There is an ambiguity in almost all of my photographs, that's why people understand what they want from my art. They redefine the ambiguity according to themselves."
Hope is the name of the piece Reyhan created to raise money for the earthquake relief efforts. She minted 500 copies at a price of 1 XTZ each, and has sold nearly 100 editions at the time of writing. 100% of the proceeds from the sale and royalties will be donated.
We would like to thank Reyhan for creating such beautiful work and contributing one of her pieces to #TezQuakeAid.