an interview with Mustafa Taviloğlu

When did you start collecting and who else was collecting in Turkey at the time?

I believe it was around 1973. There was a fashion exhibit at the Hilton Hotel in Istanbul and Yahşi Baraz had a small stand there. I can easily say that he has played a big role in the development and advancement of the art scene in Turkey as well as being a major instigator in my own interest in purchasing and collecting artworks. At the time when I started buying paintings, I only knew about Ali Koçman, and there was also Kemal Erhan. In the beginning, Halil Bezmen was not much involved but he quite quickly made a strong entrance onto the art scene.

What made you want to start collecting art? What was the first artwork you purchased?

In 1968, during my travels to Paris, I saw lots of galleries. I was quite impressed by the long lines at their entrances. When I asked about these, I was told people were coming to ‘see’ the paintings as they were perceived as ‘museums’. In Turkey, if you asked about museums, people would show you something like Dolmabahçe Palace. I always searched for what we didn’t have, what we were missing. Perhaps seeing so many galleries had an effect on my subconscious. Of course, Yahşi Baraz had a profound effect on me as well. When I first started buying paintings, I liked Impressionists better than other artists. I believe the very first painting I bought was by Necdet Kalay.