Classical art was born in Florence, grew up in Paris, “Popped” as Pop art in New York and today has finalized its journey. Because Contemporary Art today has no boarders, no language and no limit, in every city in the world art has chosen a different home. A home along streets, sometimes engaging a whole district or just a few little art spaces, depending on whether the city’s artistic soul is dead, alive or in some cases not even born yet.
Every city has its own art hub and art crowd. Just like the Chelsea in NY, Istanbul’s “artsy district” would have to be Karaköy. Karaköy is famous for its historical fish restaurants, little cafe’s, boutique hotels, boats by the port, local shops, and of course contemporary art galleries. Karaköy is now the name of the once called Ancient Galata, where there actually wasn’t much to do or see a couple of years ago, unless you were into, mechanical or electrical parts suppliers, plumbing or fishing nets. Originally a meeting place for banks and companies back in the 19th century, the streets of Karaköy were cold and dark after hours and yet not very safe. But today, these streets are home to the leading art galleries of the city. Booming with show openings each month, hosting the best contemporary artists all over the world as well as all over Turkey. Having prestigious galleries in Nişantaşı, Akaretler and Pera, I say, “Art has finally defined itself in Karaköy.”
The main artistic building in Karaköy, of course is our one and only modern art museum, Istanbul Modern. In addition to this piece of architecture, the contemporary art galleries are scattered all around, hidden in street corners and one even takes place in the garage of a building. Leading Art Galleries in Karaköy are; Artsümer, Daire Sanat, Depo, Elipsis Gallery, Galeri Mana, Mixer, ISTANBUL ’74, Galeri NON and PG Art Gallery.