How two Turkish women have been making Istanbul a hub for contemporary art
Now in its third year, ArtInternational Istanbul – Turkey’s youngest contemporary art fair – has been bringing renowned international galleries and collectors to Istanbul, both from the region as well as further abroad. Though it, along with other institutions such as Contemporary Istanbul and Istanbul Modern, have firmly established themselves by the Bosphorus, it hasn’t been particularly easy. Turkish galleries and art institutions are predominantly privately owned and supported – as in Iran, for instance) – and receive little support (if any) from the government. As a result, certain collectors, entrepreneurs, curators, and enthusiasts, responding to the exigencies of time and place, have taken on the responsibility of establishing venues and undertaking projects on varying scales for the exhibition and promotion of contemporary art. Sevda Elgiz and Başak Şenova are two such examples.