Queer art that reflects the sensitivities of Berlin and the eroticism of men
We caught up with Fatih Alasalvaroglu to talk art, men, and plans for the future.
When did you discover and start to explore your passion for art?
I’ve always loved art and painting. As a child, my parents didn’t need to buy me any toys to make me happy. My mother still tells me that she just had to give me drawing pads and pencils. Even at school, art was my favourite lesson. So, it was just a matter of maturing to recognise that my art was where I needed to focus my work.
Your series – Male – is what first caught our eye. Are those drawings indicative of your style of work?
Male was just an excursion in homoerotic art. Usually, I’m not limited to any particular sexuality in my art. That series was something that friends suggested I do, to reach a broader audience for my work.
Nowadays, I’m into any shape, colour, body-type, or sexuality to express my creativity. It’s all about not limiting yourself, to become better and bigger in what you do. Art must be more than just sexual – it has to touch you by all visual meanings, no matter how.
Who are some of your art heroes or inspirations?
My biggest heroes always will be my parents and all the teachers at school who made me become the independent man I am today. I wouldn’t be all I am without their support and belief in me and my skills and ambition.
If we talk artists, it’s Pablo Picasso. I love all that he’s created. Especially because you can follow his evolution as an artist through his body of work.
What led you to create the Urberlin brand?
The idea arose from the realisation that one of the peculiarities of my home-town Berlin is its pictures and graffiti captured on the sometimes drab masonry. Berlin’s street art reflects the sensitivities and worlds of its inhabitants. I wanted to preserve all the city’s creativity and beauty by printing it on artsy t-shirts.
Where are you currently drawing your inspiration from?
It’s all in my head. Often I go out to get inspired by people or atmospheres in my surroundings. Sometimes something comes around and kicks me. It can be a word, a situation, or maybe just a simple encounter with a stranger. Then I grab my pencil from my bag and start sketching all my ideas down, just so I don’t forget them. Some of my ideas end up on papers and canvases, some stay ignored.