Every Painting is a Self-Portrait
Utku Dervent

Each and every one of our relationships with the world are mirrors that reflect us back at ourselves.

Every painting made, by way of relating to the world, is a self portrait as the painter’s encounter with their own self. This is so because what the painter depicts in their work is a revelation, a disclosure of their perception of the world and in being so, it is the self itself.

Painting is, for me, similar to playing chess, in a way. It is impossible to play chess on one’s own. One cannot play against oneself since every move would be known in advance.


There is no predetermined direction in my paintings. Every change in the direction of the canvas surface signifies a transformation in the order of relationships. Therefore, turning the painting around in the act of painting allows me to, in a sense, play chess against myself. The painting sits in front of me horizontally, and all relations within it change according to the perspective I look at it from. As it is so, a step I take in one direction comes to be read differently from any other direction. Hence, the entire struggle is one of different perspectives, playing out upon one and the same person.