Embracing Darkness: Dilek Baykara
We first met Dilek Baykara, a now 23-year-old Brooklyn-based artist, when she was attending the School of Visual Arts for Illustration and living in a dingy basement in Bed Stuy. Her room was painted red and black, with a strange tangle of black pipes rising to the ceiling. What was most noticeable about Dilek at that time (other than the metal constantly blasting from her room) was she was rarely seen. She was almost always in her room, drawing. You could go for several days without running into her, and when you finally caught a glimpse of the piece she’d been working on, it was astonishing. There is such a mysterious power to her work, oozing a darkness she says has been with her since childhood. But it’s not the faux-darkness of trend-hopping goths, or of shock-value Internet art. Her work is as technically proficient as it is evocative, made up of thousands of hand-inked lines that together tell stories of witchcraft, of demons, of all-powerful, mystical women.
Her skillfulness has made her work accessible to people outside of the metal scene where she first felt at home. She’s done a skate deck for Brooklyn skateshop KCDC and gig posters for bands as diverse as Eyehategod and Swans. The other day, we talked to Dilek about what she’d most love to do in the future, her relationship to the metal scene, and her changing identity as an artist.
Read the interview here