Painting in Balat

 

 

 

Balat is one of the old traditional neighborhoods in Istanbul. With the title Balat? I had an exhibition in Istanbul. It was a project selected by the first international open-call for artists from Plato Sanat (Spring 2013). This work reveals personal stories within 
the history of Balat by portraying its inhabitants, threatened with gentrification. (This project can be seen in this website at: Here)

 

As a complement to these portraits I also went to paint in the streets of Balat. Surrounded by crowds with whom I could not communicate in the same language, this was established through my pictorial activity. This experience was not without incidents. As a malicious child in a vandal act threw my painting to the ground and the painting, with the oil still fresh, impregnated with dust. Although at first I considered this as a catastrophic end to the painting, then it seemed to me that another value had been added to the work. In the exhibition I showed it with that deterioration and adding a card explaining that this work had been done with the help of a spontaneous assistant. In the end it was testimony of a personal experience and expression of another aspect of urban conflict in Balat.

Félix de la Concha