La CityArt

A Secret Gallery Among the Streets: Muhammed’s House

Muhammed’s house appeared before me among pale-colored buildings whilst rambling around the back-alleys in old Ulus district of “grey” Ankara. A two-story house, rather small, painted colorful pictures on the walls. I approach to find out what these paintings are about. No, it’s not “street art” what I see. These are colorful kids, smiling faces, flowers and so much better. I realize, after a while, that it’s not only the paintings that make this colorfully decorated house worthy of a story but also the painter living inside it: Muhammed Yalçın.

While I examine the paintings on the walls, intrigued, Muhammed appears in the balcony. It takes a little while before he and his mother come down to meet us. His mother invites us in and starts to tell, so I start to find out Muhammed’s story.

Muhammed Yalçın is 28 years old. Being mentally challenged, he could not continue with his education. After leaving the school, he starts to take painting lessons. Continuously painting since then, Muhammed has conveyed his art from his canvas to the walls of his house for 8 years.

Luckily, his family does not disregard Muhammed’s interest in painting. They even once reorganized one of the rooms of this small house as a workshop for him. However, rooms and canvases were not enough for Muhammed. Initially, he paints the walls of his workshop room, continuing with coloring the interior of the whole house. Finally, he designs the exterior, which drags us to itself by its glamour.

As there is no space left on the walls, Muhammed’s family repaints them blank so that Muhammed will be able to continue painting.

Muhammed’s work is categorized as “Art Brut”. Nothing professional, done without any thought given. His art naturally reflects his rich imagination in the shape of pictures, figures and color harmony.

You should drop by this colorful piece of art in Anafartalar Quarter. Muhammed will probably be watching you on the balcony. When they invite you over, you will grasp the chance to see the house, whose every corner is colorfully painted and listen to Muhammed’s story from his family. Before I forget, Muhammed has a notebook for visitors. If you write something for him, you will make him very happy.

This is an article translated by a volunteer, the original version of this article in Turkish is here. 

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