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BASARIR ARTIST CEM BASARIR INTERPRETS TORONTO S T R E E T S C A P E S A S S O F T, D R E A M L I K E S C E N E S . by S H E R R Y S M I T H E R + photography by A N N A L I S A S A N G

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CONTEMPORARY ARTIST CEM BASARIR was three-ye-

features of these buildings and beautiful paintings in

ars-old when he sat beside his father’s easel watching

the churches drew my attention; I visited them over

him paint. “One day when my dad was not home, I

and over again,” he says.

went into his study room, took his paints and brushes,

Summers were spent by the seaside of his uncle’s

and tried to complete a painting he was working on,”

historical hotel; on the walls hung dozens of 19th

recalls Basarir. “I actually ruined the painting!”

century paintings. His parents and relatives couldn’t

Growing up in Izmir, Turkey influenced Basarir’s

help but notice the young Basarir’s fascination with

art profoundly. He would get together with friends

paintings. They would give him gifts of paints and

after dinner and listen to tales told by their parents.

brushes, allowing him to express himself through art,

“I used to lie down, watch stars and dive into dreams

as his father did with his hobby.

all the time,” he reflects. “There were many historical

Stories from his childhood eventually drew Basarir

buildings in my neighbourhood. The architectural

to Toronto. “My father was a military pilot. A long

LUXE MAGAZINE • AUTUMN 2 018

Profile for LUXEMagazineCanada

LUXE Magazine Canada Autumn 2018  

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