Mehmet Nevzat Erdoğan was born in 1984 in Cyprus. When he was 16, he traveled to the other end of the world to study Finance in the United States, but ended up discovering and falling in love with photography and self portraiture instead. 9 years later, Mehmet returned back home, where he alternates between a full time job and his passion for making art.
He is a short story writer, an aspiring filmmaker, piano player and cat lover. He also likes to throw one person dance parties.
KALTBLUT: What inspires you most as a photographer?
Mehmet: Well, very strictly speaking, music, literature, art, natural light and spaces. But conceptually, you can trace several strands of inspiration in my work. One of them is exhaustion, which I explored in my series ‘I dreamt we weren’t so tired’. I am also very much inspired by the ordinariness of things. The less significant, the more inspiring. Like wind blowing through my lover’s hair, or a moment in which I am lying in bed and reading a book; suddenly I’ll get very self conscious, like OH WOW I AM DOING THIS RIGHT NOW. I have to capture it then. I lose the moment but I gain it as a photo in eternity.I guess most of all I am inspired by my fear of death. Because I’m scared of forgetting so much, I feel the need to save every moment.
KALTBLUT: Has Photography changed your way of viewing life?
Mehmet: Photography allows me to have a bigger picture of the life inside and outside of me. It helps me to rise up and look at everything with a bird’s eye view. Particularly in my self portraiture, because I am trying to capture my own experiences, I have to get outside the confines of my mental tape. The effort of trying to figure out how to convey a particular experience through photography can be the first step in making it more impersonal or universal.The opposite happens, too – where I will take a picture and it will help me to focus on a particular feeling more closely. Sometimes you may want to not ‘feel’ particular things. But having it there in a picture makes it seem safer somehow. I can begin to connect with it then.
KALTBLUT: How important is color for you in a picture?
Mehmet: More important than I’d like to think or confess. Shooting in black and white seems to really be a challenge for me! But even more important than color, I think, is the lighting. I really like to use natural light and a lot of times the beginning point of a picture for me is that the light is really warm and cozy in a particular space. I have to grab my camera immediately.
KALTBLUT: Do you have any upcoming projects? What are your photography plans for the next few months?
Mehmet: Yeah, definitely. I did my first solo exhibition last year here in Cyprus, which was very fulfilling. I already have the concept for my next exhibition and a lot of ideas for individual photos. But I want to move onto bigger things from a technical point of view, which requires a lot of free time and practice. Hopefully I can find enough time to start getting out there and shooting more soon.
Interview by Emma E. K. Jones