San Fransisco street artist DYoungV takes on Istanbul – PHOTOFEAST

The prolific Californian artist was recently on the move again, this time creating artwork on the fringes of Asia in the urban spaces of Istanbul.

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ISTANBUL STREET ART 

Not yet a year has passed since San Fransisco artist DYoungV came through Hong Kong and left his signature style of art in the streets. The prolific Californian artist was recently on the move again, this time creating artwork on the fringes of Asia in the urban spaces of Istanbul – an idea hatched while chatting with Hong Kong’s own local tattoo artist Ross Dixon Turpin of the famed Star Crossed Tattoo. The promise of Istanbul’s ‘free reign’ to get up proved too great a draw, and soon DYoungV had booked his ticket to the enigmatic Turkish city, which did not disappoint. Style by Asia offers insight into the artist’s impressions of working in the Eurasian border city that has become a beacon of street art culture.

Balat-5-1
Balat neighborhood. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Balat neighborhood. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Balat neighborhood. Image courtesy of the artist.

Of his experience working in Istanbul, the artist commented:

“In a city of nearly 15 million people that are up during all hours of the night, there is always someone around watching you. Even down the darkest and quietest alley at 5am, there are still people hanging out. This can make one very nervous when putting up work. What I learned… is just put your work up regardless, take your time to get it right and 99.9% of Istanbul people will not bother you at all.”

 

Canavar-Collab-2---Kadikoy-1
Kadikoy neighborhood collaboration with Canavar. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Kadikoy neighborhood, collaboration with Oneson. Image courtesy of the artist
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Kadikoy metro. Image courtesy of the artist.

With this being the artist’s first visit to unfamiliar territory (where he had no long-standing contacts nor spoke the language), the trip was a crash course in Turkish culture and the individual local neighborhoods of Istanbul. He reports:

“Beyoglu is a neighborhood that is large in size and massively dense with people. Its walls are covered street to street with extremely well executed graffiti pieces. Literally thousands of pieces can be seen on every roller door, ground level wall, alley way and accessible rooftop. Finding it difficult to find open space in that area; most of my works in Beyoglu can be found in abandoned lots, on top of demolished buildings, rooftops above local markets and residential areas sightly off the more busy streets…”

Beyoglu---
Beyoglu neighborhood. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Beyoglu. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Beyoglu. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Beyoglu. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Beyoglu. Image courtesy of the artist.

In addition to Beyoglu, the Kadikoy neighborhood proved to be a quite impressive area for street art.

“Just over the Bosphorus Strait exists Kadikoy on the Asian side of Istanbul. Kadikoy offers a variety of well executed graff pieces, enormous sanctioned and unsanctioned street murals and a very large street art scene. Unsolicited pieces done by the artists in this neighborhood can be seen covering whole sides of buildings, roof tops, freeway entrances and public parks.”

ARES-BADSECTOR-Collab---Kadikoy
Kadikoy neighborhood, colloboration with local artists Ares Badsector. Image courtesy of the artist.

Despite a lack of contacts in the area, the artist was able to connect with creative local talents for collaborations through Istanbul’s Mixer Gallery. He says:

“The artists here are talented, courageous, ambitious, defiant, and very open to collaborating with travelling artists. Thankfully, through the help of Mixer Gallery I was able to connect with local artists: Canavar, Oneson, Ares Badsector and Gevsek. They took me around Kadikoy in search of walls. We spent the late evening/morning creating collaboration pieces all around that area.”

Canavar-Collab---Kadikoy-1
Kadikoy neighborhood, ollaboration with Canavar. Image courtesy of the artist.
Kadikoy-3-1
Kadikoy. Image courtesy of the artist.

For DYoungV, the act of creating street art is both deliberate and meditative after careful consideration of a neighborhood. Regarding his process in unfamiliar international destinations, he offers:

“I believe that doing street art in foreign cities adds a unique perspective on the dynamics of that city’s culture. For me, a neighborhood has to be visited three times. One day to scout, one night to get work up and a third follow up visit to photograph and interact with the completed work. This allows for hours upon hours of exploring new alleyways, residential areas, visiting mosques, eating at local cafes and interacting with locals all while working. It’s a very rewarding experience. The perspective of getting work up allows for visits to areas that one may not travel to otherwise.”

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Taksim Square. Image courtesy of the artist.


Check out more from DYoungV here:

www.dyoungv.com

Instagram: @dyoungv

Erin Wooters Yip

Related Posts

Follow @urban_DNA on Instagram for a running feed of Hong Kong street art

 

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