The New York Times a few weekends ago featured an article “The 31 Places to Go in 2010”. In it, they pronounce Istanbul as an art mecca:
The reputation of Istanbul’s contemporary art scene has been steadily growing in recent years, with the Web site ArtKnowledgeNews.com recently calling it “one of the most innovative in the world.” That reputation is bound to be burnished even more this year, now that Istanbul has been named the 2010 European Capital of Culture (a designation it shares with Essen, Germany, and Pecs, Hungary). There will be a series of events, gallery shows and stage performances throughout the city to mark the occasion. (A complete list of events can be found at en.istanbul2010.org/index.htm.)
But one of the best ways to get a crash course in what Istanbul’s leading artists are up to right now is to spend some time wandering around the Misir Apartments (311/4 Istiklal Cadessi), right on the busy pedestrian thoroughfare that cuts through the trendy Beygolu neighborhood. Inside this elegant, early-20th-century building are some of the city’s most cutting-edge art venues, like Galerist (www.galerist.com.tr) and Gallerie Nev (www.galerinevistanbul.com)
Hmm, add this to my slight obsession with Orhan Pamuk’s writing and his efforts to promote art in Istanbul, and I think this trumps MY list of “where to go next”.