Ethem Baymak

painter poet writer


Ethem Baymak
Ethem Baymak was born on March 10th, 1952, in Prizren, Kosovo. He is a painter, poet and writer.
Ethem Baymak holds a PhD from the University of Skopje in Folklore Studies. He worked as a journalist for the radio and for journals in Prishtina as well as a professor at the University of Prishtina. Ethem Baymak has been involved with poetry and painting since his youth.

Ethem Baymak's poems and articles are published and translated into six languages. He published more than 20 books, including 6 books of poems. His play "20. Yüzyılın Karagöz ve Hacivatı" (The 20th Century’s Turkish Shadow Theater, Karagöz and Hacivat) was broadcast on Prizren Television in 1986. His plays "Inek ile Sinek" (The Fly and Yhe Cow, 1987), "Gül ve Diken" (The Rose and the Thorn, 1988) and "Caro ile Curo" (Caro and Curo, 1989) have been broadcast on radio. Baymak is a member of the Kosovo-Turkish Writers Association.

As a painter Ethem Baymak has held more than eighty personal exhibitions in the area of former Yugoslavia, in Turkey and various other European countries like Austria and England. He participated at international art symposia in Bosnia & Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. He himself also has been curating for international art symposia and exhibitions. His works are represented in private and public collections in Kosovo and abroad. Baymak is the Art Director of the Association of Turkish Artists of Kosovo.

Ethem Baymak about being a painter: "Even though artists do not have their nest, because they belong to the whole world, there is a very sentimental connection between Prizren and me. Prizren is a beautiful city. As a city Prizren gives artists a lot of inspiration. That is actually how my artistic adventure started: Prizren's old streets and architecture were my first inspiration, especially the heritage from the Ottoman period.
Why is architecture still one of my favourite subjects? In this modern times, intentionally or not, those old architectural objects disappear. In the former Yugoslavia we unfortunately could see how the beautiful Mostar bridge was destroyed. I painted the view on the Mostar bridge a lot of times, because I want to preserve the cultural heritage, so hundreds of years later one can recognize that there were beautiful buildings and streets lost in modern times.
Now, as an older person, I have a moral obligation to support young talents, young promising artists, so they can become far better than me.
I think that nobody has an answer on what art is, and I haven't got a definition either. But I think that art is about loving people, about the beauty of their creation.
The only consolation is tomorrow. I am working for tomorrow."

Ethem Baymak lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey, and in in Prizren, Kosovo.