The attraction of living in a foreign city for most, is the opportunity to experience a new culture and way of life. Istanbul offers this in abundance, due for the large part, to its straddling of two continents and its historic, strategic importance for the Romans, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
But culture comes in many shapes and forms and isn’t necessarily confined to food, religion or nationality. Art has long been a strong influence within culture whether it be music, poetry or painting, but as times change, culture changes with it and this artistic expression manifests itself in different ways.
Wall paintings date back some 40,000 years in both Europe and Asia, but the modern day graffiti artist is often thought of as a blight on society. Without the consent of the owner, as is often the case, graffiti is a criminal offence and punishable by law. However it provides the less privileged in particular, with a vehicle to express underlying social and political angst.
Particularly in recent years, street artists such as Banksy, have seen graffiti and street paintings become a legitimate form of art, with his work now fetching a high price. Major cities around the world have become a blank canvass and Istanbul is one of those leading an artistic revolution.
Since 2012 Istanbul has held the Mural-Ist Festival, organised by the Kadıköy Municipality in the Anatolian side of the city, it celebrates street art through the creation of enormous wall paintings.
The aim is to brighten up some of the city’s more subdued areas, filling blank walls with vast amounts of colour, each narrating their own story. Once again the festival will bring as many as 10 mural artists from around the world, keen to make Istanbul their blank canvass, with each artists taking around 10 days to complete each masterpiece.
One such mural painted by Polish artist M-City at last year’s festival, was considered one of the best of its kind worldwide.
Not only are these works of art becoming a thread in the fabric of Istanbul, but it demonstrates the city’s open minded approach and acceptance of new forms of expression. This makes it a desirable location of many, not just the artistically inclined and should serve Istanbul well in the future.
If you want a first-hand experience of Istanbul’s street art, Lilimont have a number of properties within the vicinity of some of these artworks and the expertise to help you secure one.
Take Galata for example.
We’re listing this spectacular penthouse flat with panoramic views of the Golden Horn. This fifth floor, two bedroom apartment is one of a kind and packed with historical character.
We’re also listing this sleek penthouse flat, again in Galata, for 350,000 Euro. Offering a mix of regal, historic architecture with a sleek, contemporary design.
Both properties aren’t to be missed and both lie a stone’s throw away from one of our favourite Istanbul street murals!