Merve Basirir (1986) was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Basarir trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, having initially pursued a career in finance. Working in a wide range of materials including jesmonite, silicone and steel, the work focuses on cultural trauma, socially constructed roles and binary pairings.
Merve Basarir’s ‘Pussy Protectors’ are made from the casts of the negative space between her own legs. Sculpted in Jesmonite, these interactive works intend to bridge the distance between spectator and artwork by luring the viewer to touch and interact with their surfaces through the sensual effect of form, colour and materiality. This participatory body of work is in part intended as a socio-political reaction to President Donald Trump’s self-confessed penchant for ‘pussy grabbing’. Mirroring the human capacity, the sculptures carry characteristics at once playful, subversive, cunning, humorous and stupid.