Surprises of İstanbul: update your statue
So you’re walking in Levent district, which is not the most touristic, neither the most interesting district of the city, thus you might be an expat running errands or you might have popped up in the wrong metro station. Anyways, you decide to cross the road, or even jaywalk following the locals… Then you run into a toy horse statue, pretty much out of context.
Considering the place of contemporary art pieces in daily life, İstanbul might not rank very high among other cities. Apart the regular Atatürk statues and heroic characters, many municipalities are either afraid of art, or have a significantly poor taste trying to embellish their area: such as Üsküdar Municipality, with their yellow plastic duck installations and the-gun-which-shoots-itself statues. Most of the time, the local governing bodies content themselves with the idea of modern art staying limited to art galleries and museums.
Beşiktaş Municipality can be an exception on this, with the statue contests they regularly hold and several visually attractive examples, including the white horse in Levent area. You can find various marble statues from their projects in Etiler, Levent, Ulus, Ortaköy and Beşiktaş area, so be ready to see the baby steps of “official” contemporary art around İstanbul.
PS: Please don’t try jaywalking. Life is too beautiful to jaywalk in İstanbul.
By former writer: Aslıhan Tuna