mobile photography

Mobile Photography & Art – ‘Intimate Interview’ with Serap Utaş from Istanbul, Turkey

Our sixty fourth interview in this new series of intimate interviews is with talented mobile photographer and artist Serap Utaş from Istanbul, Turkey.  This is a totally immersive interview with a wide range of tremendous mobile images. Enjoy!

To read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, Lisa Mitchell, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith, Judy Lurie Whalberg, Andrea Bigiarni, Sean Hayes, Oola Cristina, Kathleen Magner-Rios, Linda Toki, Deb Field, Emilo Nadales, Lydia Cassatt, David Hayes, Jean Hutter, Frederic Deschênes, Mark Schnidman, Fatma Korkut, Fleur Schim, Rob Pearson-Wright, Dieter Gaebel, James Ellis, Marco P Prado, Jeronimo Sanz, Manuela Matos Monteiro, Bleu Chemiko, Manuela Basaldella, Stefania Piccioni, Luis Rodríguez, Marilisa Andriani (@mitrydate) Mayte Balcells (@artofmayte), Nicole Christophe, Jennifer Graham, Cathrine Halsør, Paul Toussaint, Carol Wiebe, Julie Denning, Kim Clayton (@berleyart), Karen Messick and myself, go here.

All images ©Serap Utaş

First Recognition?

In the middle school (right before the high school), I was chosen in volleyball and athleticism teams; in the same years, I represented my school in algebra. Those were the first public recognitions I have received. In arts, after I have met Mehmet Sukru Omur, I have been introduced to the mobile arts and my works have started to be presented in exhibitions and that was important for me.

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First Job?

After graduation as a medical doctor, in order to complete professional compulsory service requirements, I started to work, as the responsible doctor in a small, cute and green town in the Black Sea coast named Kesap.

Private or State/(Public in US) school?

I have always been educated in state schools.

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University or Work?

I graduated from the University of Ankara Faculty of Medicine and subsequently specialised in dermatology. I have spent long years in the university as a professor of dermatology in Erciyes University, located near the Cappadocia region. There, I have lectured students and taken care of patients for many years. Hence, university and work have been synonymous throughout my life. I was quite happy to be there; I was doing the thing I loved, I was enjoying teaching my students and I have experienced the constant satisfaction and fulfilment coming with providing cure to my patients. University was, at the same time, where my interest and exposure in photography has begun. As part of my job and for academic purposes, I have been regularly taking pictures of my patients’ skin lesions. I have kept the same interest when I moved to Istanbul, where I currently live and practice my profession. I have quite a large archive of photos of skin diseases.

Who was or still is your mentor?

In the arts, I actually do not have a mentor. I receive my inspirations from my inner self and the works of other mobile artists.

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How physically fit are you?

I feel physically fit. I do jogging and pilates on a bi-weekly basis.

Ambition or talent: what matters more to success?

Talent without ambition or ambition without talent do not suffice by themselves. These two complement each other. It is though important to develop your talent through using the ambition.

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How politically committed are you?

I support the political ideas or actions which may possibly make the world more peaceful, liveable, environmentally clean and serene place.

What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

Thankfully, I do not feel like I need anything further to possess.

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What is your biggest extravagance?

I seriously do not know of any.

In what place are you happiest?

I am happiest in my own environment with my family. I feel happy to live in the city of Istanbul. However, I also feel happy whenever I am traveling, since I enjoy discovering new places, exploring historical towns, taking photographs, visiting museums, art exhibitions and galleries.

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What ambitions do you still have?

I feel ambitious about developing myself and going further in the mobile art.

What drives you on?

My family, my work and the acts and feelings of helping people and my patients and mobile art drive me on. In terms of mobile art, mobile photography especially attracts my interest and I would like to improve my skills on this. Mobile art groups on the social media are also one of driving factors in respect to the mobile art. Also, being a moderator in Appsturc, a part of Turkish mobile arts community (Tumobart), is a motivating factor.

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What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?

My achievements are correlated with my motivations. Therefore, my response to this question would be the similar to the one above – my family, my work, being able to help people and mobile art.

What do you find most irritating in other people?

Dishonesty, deceitfulness, lack of love and care, lack of morality.

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If your 20 year old self could see you now what would he think?

He would say: “You are doing fine; but you should have started being involved in arts when you were much younger

Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?

Lost objects are not of a real concern for me, they are mostly replaceable. It is rather the lost people that are of concern to me.

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What is the greatest challenge of our time?

Climate change, conflicts, immigration-related issues, upcoming limitation of food and clean water.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Yes, I believe in afterlife.

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If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far out of 10 what would you score?


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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]