Open Air Art Street

Art is divine and everlasting. Art reflects the deep cultural confidence and passion of a community. People are drawn to it as art is drawn to them. The association that we have with art, design and architecture, really reflect who we are and what we’ve done. And I think authenticity is increasingly rare and important. Should be embraced till eternity no matter what your background is.

With this in mind, now I will tell you a true story. Unfortunately our city İstanbul, has never connected the artist with architecture. In the fifties they tried it once but it wasn’t sustainable. In the district called 4.Levent (4th Levent) a new compound was being build. The architects of the project asked six very important artists of the time to compose mosaics on the deaf side of the buildings. These artists were Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, Nurullah Berk, Ferruh Başağa, Sabri Berkel, Ercüment Kalmık and Eren Eyüboğlu. All peerless in their own way. These mosaics have survived one way or the other since 1957 until now. Some of them have been lost forever leaving back memories on photos. Others are surviving despite weather circumstances and especially us, the public. During these years some of the mosaics have been ram down and the spaces has been opened up to be a window; some have been lost under jacketing and some have survived with minor/major casualties.

I love art, especially if it’s intervened with the texture of a city. Twenty of these mosaics exist still and it’s our duty in İstanbulstory to make you and the locals be aware of such treasure. and it’s all concentrated in one street. It’s like an open air art street. So one Sunday I took my camera and hit the road to shoot these unique mosaics for your pleasure. Maybe the next time you are in town you can check them out. They are open for public view, no cost and hassle free. In the centre of Istanbul they are waiting to be admired, appreciated and embraced. It’s our duty as art lovers to protect these unique reflections of an artist’s soul splashed on walls. They have a story, they have a creative bearing that reaches out and grabs you. When I was shooting the pictures people stared at me, they even made a pass at me but I didn’t care. I was lost in a time of artistry, when art mattered and was appreciated. When our city was being pampered with soulful craft.

Only one of the mosaics have been owned by YKB (Yapı Kredi Bankası-Bank) and plaquetted. This mosaic belongs to Bedri Rahmi Eyüpoğlu. All the rest are left to their fate. The municipality cannot claim anything as these pieces of art are not registered. So the next time you come maybe some of them might already have been gone.

Here is one of the most beautiful artistic outcome from the fifties that has been engraved on a wall. This is Istanbul Story, the story of a city on a wall. In time I will share the rest but for now lets take everything one at a time…