Esra Gülmen is known to beautifully illustrate everyday struggles, that we have with ourselves and our lives. With her series “Don´t I look Turkish” she presented a very personal project dealing with first-hand-experienced racism and prejudices. As head of design at Heimat Berlin and a member at ADC Germany, Esra Gülmen is an artist with all her heart.

 

If you go on Esra Gülmen´s Instagram, it kind of feels like you have just entered the creator´s safe space. A bin bag that says “Yesterday´s feelings”, a cup filled with anxiety or illustrations of how the year 2020 has shaped us. All of that images in her unique and very handmade style and all of that images tell a very personal story. For Esra, practicing art is a form of self-therapy, and evolves about the struggles we have to deal with on a daily basis.

 

(c) Esra Gülmen

 

It is exactly that relatable portrayal of current topics, that makes Esra Gülmen´s art so accessible and successful. She was selected four times in a row as part of the “200 Best Illustrators” Worldwide by Lürzer’s Archive Magazine and she has exhibited her art in many group shows and opened three solo shows so far in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Berlin.

 

(c) Esra Gülmen

 

One of them has been the “Don´t I look Turkish”-show in Berlin. In a collaboration with BOLD Berlin, the Turkish-born artist created a collection that asks a question upfront in hopes of starting a new conversation and spread the message to the streets: ”Don’t I look Turkish?” With her solo show, she wanted to draw attention to discrimination and prejudices Esra Gülmen herself, just like so many others experience on a regular basis.

 

(c) Esra Gülmen

 

“When I grow up I wanna be an artist”, Esra Gülmen once let her followers on Instagram know. As we can all agree, Esra is all grown up and definitely an artist now. At the Forward Online Festival, she will talk about her path and about how she always sticks to her signature art.

 

(c) Esra Gülmen