UNITED COLORS, 1985 Pencil on paper, 182.9 x 254 cm

This is the first breakthrough work I made outside the school’s curriculum in 1985, first year of art college in Izmir. Izmir at the time was an industrial sleepy sea town.  Coal powered power stations and warehouses stationed lined the harbor. Industrial section of town was all gray with the polluted air, land and the sea. The bay next to the vast industrial avenue was filled with toxic waste and sud and it was becoming a marsh land. One day billboards erected by both sides of the avenue in an attempt to block the environmental catastrophe in making. First company to advertise on these billboards was Benetton with their diverse race of youth dressed in colorful sweaters. It seemed as if it was a dystopian oasis; beautiful colorful images in this otherwise charcoal gray landscape. I decided to make a drawing as large as the billboard and paste it on one of the billboards as an intervention. V.A.