Graffiti Update

Posted on December 30, 2011


In my previous post on Graffiti in Istanbul, I wrote about the street art I’ve run across in Kadıköy and Beyoğlu. I gave the most daring and most interesting award to an artist in Beyoğlu who specialized in funny yellow fists in precarious places. I was not as pleased with the graffiti in Kadıköy. I believed I compared the artists color palette to Lisa Frank illustrations.

 Maybe a better comparison would be: if all the Teletubbies ate too much pink cotton candy and then barfed on the walls all over this neighborhood. Then again, maybe that comparison was just gratuitous and disgusting. Oh well, I left it in.

You can view my orginal post about Kadıköy street art here:

I’m happy to say that things are changing fast in Kadıköy. The Teletubbie nightmare is almost over. The colors have slowly expanded, and the subject matter has definitely taken a darker turn. I have to say some of it really wierds me out and makes me think. Now, without further ado, here is a sampling of the latest graffiti work in Kadıköy.

This shot makes me happy. The column was backlit, so I over-exposed and washed out the background. This is the strongest graffiti theme of the moment. Someone is really into unidentifiable oozing organs. Yes, there is a definite gross factor, but the random bones, teeth, tubes, and ooze are trying to say something. Sure, it’s surreal, so it’s hard to say what is being said. Still, It’s the thought that counts. (This web page must shrink the photos to fit making them fuzzy, so you can click on them for more clarity.)

These organs are all over Kadıköy.

I pass this piece every morning on the way to work. At 6:30 in the morning, contemplating the significance of a heart on what looks like a plate is asking far too much.

I don’t know who designed this column under the train tracks, but I think it’s cool. They don’t serve a purpose anymore. You can’t  go up them, and they don’t go anywhere.

WARNİNG: I apologize to all my Turkish speaking readers for the next shot. It contains a foul and offensive word. However, I think the picture is kind of cool and a little funny, so I kept it.

Here is some graffiti from the ritzy neighborhood of Moda. I love these pieces because they combine two artists’ styles. This first shot is a prolific Kadıköy artist who likes to do very jagged and colorful portraits. Also in the frame, you can see the primitive tag of the boy with no heart. This shot really shows the progress of street art here. We go from simple tags to pretty impressive paintings.

Have you ever played Super Smash Bros? It’s the video game which pits characters from different Nintendo franchises together to duke it out. Zelda vs. Mario. Donkey Kong vs. Kirby. This next piece is like that. Jagged portrait artist and oozing organ artist collide on one building corner. The result is surprisingly complimentary and harmonious.

This next work is my favorite. I found it in a sleepy family block. Somebody bedazzled the heck out of this parking post. It’s quite something when the light hits it. I have a feeling this was a real time investment too. My hats off to whoever did this. It brightened my day.

I just can’t get enough of this post. Here’s another:

Here is a shot from a very well graffitied parking lot. Someone painted the letters LSD next to this one, and I think the shoe fits.

I saw some other disturbing things on this walk that weren’t art. For example, this dog with two noses. He’s a neighbor. Actually, I see him everyday, but this time I had a camera. God bless his heart. Don’t feel too bad. He is very well fed.

And this old geezer was disturbing in a funny way. As soon as he saw my camera, he insisted that I take a shot of him flexing.

As you can see, we are finished with the graffiti. You are now up to date on the latest street art in Kadıköy, Istanbul. I’ll leave you with this picture of the Moda Double Tree by Hilton. I find these window cleaners’ jobs disturbing. They look like insects caught in a steel web.