Mural Istanbul – street art at its best in Istanbul
Over the previous three weeks, a festival of street art and graffiti Mural Istanbul https://www.instagram.com/muralistanbul/ has taken place in several different locations around Kadiköy.
Organized for the first time in 2012 as the first festival of its kind in Turkey, it has turned into an event that has adorned many walls with striking wall art, and made news all across the street art community worldwide.
Since Mural Istanbul teamed up with the Kadiköy Municipality with the aim of revitalizing the somewhat asleep areas of Kadiköy – Yeldegirmeni area in particular https://www.instagram.com/yeldegirmenimahallesi/ – this neighbourhood sprung to life and became one of the creative hubs in the city.
Same initiatives have taken place in other now popular districts of Istanbul, mostly in Karaköy, Moda, and most recently Fener – Balat, where the combination of tradition and new art and lifestyle tendencies has yielded very creative outcomes. Today, Istanbul is increasingly becoming an ever growing street art gallery where you can enjoy original and often jaw-dropping pieces of wall art made by local and foreign street artists.
This year Mural Istanbul continued its tradition by hosting a famous Argentinian artist Chu https://www.instagram.com/chu_doma/ whose playful mural you can see in Rasimpa?a Mahallesi, Halita?a Caddesi 57, and Turkish artists Ares https://www.instagram.com/ares.bs2000/ and Lakormis https://www.instagram.com/lakormis/whose stunning murals can be seen in Acibadem Mahallesi, Bedrettin Sokak 5, and Ismail Hakibey Sokak 39 (these are one next to another although technically in two different streets).
Tabone http://tabone.tumblr.com/ is still working as we are writing this in Osmana?a Mahallesi, Tulumaci Asim Sokak 10.
While foreign artists always bring a new spark onto our city walls, for us here, it is especially interesting to follow Turkish street artists and illustrators, who seem to be working around the clock lately, giving Istanbul streets a new look.
Turkey, and Istanbul in particular has seen an explosion of street art all over the city especially since the Gezi protests in 2013. Since then, many local street and graffiti artists have established themselves on the domestic and world street art scene.
If you happen to see perfectly shaped circles crossed out with colourful lines, or inscriptions “This is my world”, most probably you have stumbled upon the work of Mr Hure https://www.instagram.com/mrhure/
His easily recognizable geometric style street art can mostly be found in Cihangir, Balat and Karaköy areas.
Leo Lunatic’s https://www.instagram.com/leolunatic/ happy smiley faces, as well as impressively big murals of sometimes grumpy yet always cute pandas can hardly pass unnoticed.
Again, a lot of his street art can be seen around Karaköy, Cihangir and Galata areas.
Istiklal street, Karaköy and Cihangir are adorned by playful cartoon style characters made by High Hero https://www.instagram.com/highero/.
Gently imaginative and somewhat visionary world of Gamze Yalcin https://www.instagram.com/_gamzeyalcin_/ is at display mostly around Galata, Tophane, Karaköy and most recently Haliç coast.
And this is just to name a few from a growing pool of original and inspiring Turkish street artists who make our city more beautiful and more exciting every day.
Therefore, do yourself a treat every now and then, and get lost in some of the less visited alleys of Istanbul neighbourhoods, where unexpected colourful surprises might brighten up your day in the most creative ways possible. Street art is huge and it is growing in Istanbul, and we are grateful to all the artists and organisations such as Mural Istanbul, who make our city walks more enjoyable.