Visit to Artists' Studios and Museums in Istanbul

By Simon Ramirez Restrepo (MFA 2016)

In conjunction with studio time, Ali has been giving us private tours of Turkish artists’ studios and museums. His visits have been enriching and engaging. The conversations have been related to Turkish social climate in relationship with art, politics and religion. Each visit has been unique to a particular artist but the conversation tends to go back to politics and social structure and the fact of making art in that particular context.

The art world in Turkey is young and evolving. Historically, most art collections have been in the hands of the elite. However, within the past years these families have started foundations and museums to make art more accessible to the public. Although these museums are young, the push to expose a variety of artists has created an interesting conversation with the rest of the art world. Pera Museum is great example of Turkey´s evolving culture. The museum’s permanent collection consists of Turkish craft antiquities (ceramics, jewelry, furniture, porcelains, etc.) as well as 19th century paintings, which exposes Turkey’s switch to a more secular acceptance. The juxtaposition of the permanent collections to the revolving contemporary exhibitions further exemplifies Turkey´s desire to be a part of the global art conversation.

Didem Unlu´s studio

Beysa Boynudelik´s studio

Sultan Ahmed III Receiving a European Ambassador, Jean-Baptiste Vanmour. Oil on canvas, 1725. Pera Museum

Tortroise trainer, Osman Hamdi bey. Oil on canvas, 1906. Pera museum. 

Grayson Perry´s exhibition at Pera Museum

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