Istanbul is unique. It is the only city in the world where two continents meet. Enjoy old and new in the cultural capital of Turkey with Istanbul expert Marc Guillet

Discover street art in Istanbul

Posted on 6 June 2011

I talk about street art. Photo: Arjen Zwart

I love street art. I’m happy to see more work and better graffiti artists in Istanbul. Especially in neighborhoods where young people hang out I discover new work every week. In hoods like Tünel, Beyoğlu, Çukurcuma, Cihangir, Galata, Kabataş, Taksim and Kadıköy.

Not in religious districts. There I see mostly political slogans against Israel and in favor of Hamas.

I admire the fine art skills, themes and creativity of the growing number of street artists.
Sometimes they paint oversized portraits of pop and movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin or characters from the books of Tolkien. But also scene from the city or portraits from the imagination from the artist and macabre themes.

Galata tower and dancing in the street. Photo: Slawomira Kozieniec

Merve Morkoç, also known by her pseudonym Lakormis, is an artist who likes strange and frightening themes.
Her work has been noticed by art collectors and galleries across Istanbul. We don’t have to roam the back streets of Istanbul looking for her work as she has exhibitions at the Milk gallery and Galerist.
In an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News she described her methods as a developing process, where themes are present, but every art piece should be seen as a momentous act of inspiration, rather than a premeditated thought.

“I do not pre-sketch and most of what I do is emotionally inspired. I try to capture the moment and allow for my different works to inspire each other without too much structure, allowing for a free process of inspiration,” she said.

A newer exhibition, currently at Galerist, explores the dream-space of the artists’ mind, looking into psychedelic features of death, reality and illusions.

Merve Morkoc street art

Morkoç trademark methods have their roots in street art and the use of spray cans and unframed boundaries play an important role.

As of today, her earlier works still remain across many buildings, billboards and walls across Istanbul, while the artist continues to artistically express herself through graffiti art across the city.
Work of her will be exhibited at the contemporary art fair in Istanbul later this year.

More of the interview you read here:

More information on street art in Istanbul on this site

2 responses to “Discover street art in Istanbul”

  1. pertev emre says:

    you can check for unique int.street art festival istanbul

  2. Melody says:

    Oh I so live this topic! I admire streetart too. Once I took a picture of a very simple drawing right next to a bin (!) in Moda somewhere. Everytime I pass there, I enjoy looking at it. Would love to share it here but can’t. I will put it on my blog at one point. You should make a recurring topic from this. 🙂

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