Istanbul

Travel Snapshots of the Final Days in Istanbul

On my second to last day in Istanbul, I calmed down about working a little. I rode the ferry from the Asia side of the city to the European side while drinking tea (read: spilling tea) and watching the sun rise as I had most days before. But instead of going to deal with project organizers, models, or vintage clothiers, I lost myself with two other artists in the back streets of the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul has a pulse, a life, and it was important for me to capture that. 

So we shopped. We haggled and bargained our way into 4 kilos of Turkish spices apiece, leaving the young man at the market smiling but scratching his head at how we got such a deal and how we would get it home. We ran our fingers through silks and cashmeres, inspected handmade bowls in hues that mirror the light inside the Hagia Sophia. Spices assaulted our senses. I sat on the steps of the city center mosque with my eyes closed and listened to the rhythm of Istanbul. The light smell of roasted corn on the cob wafted from every direction, and I could feel the hems of ladies long burkas brush the ancient stone steps as they went to pray. In a way, I prayed too, a small and soaring prayer of thanks to the city of Istanbul and its people. 




Photos by Monika Rizovska where noted





Monika Rizovska


Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

















Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska







Hope Lights

While in Istanbul, I visited Boğaziçi University, one of the most beautiful universities in Istanbul. I attended a beautiful Turkish music concert, and afterward we all made our way out to the green to watch the students send dozens of giant paper lanterns in the night sky. The festive tone and sense of collaboration was beautiful. 







Istanbul Graffiti

As some of you know, I have always been really inspired by street art and graffiti. While living in Barcelona I documented a huge amount all over the city, and my photographer friend Nick Soriano made this video that features a lot of it. 

Here are some of the small stencil pieces that grabbed by attention in Istanbul. Most are from the neighborhood Galata, which is home to many art galleries and creatives. I welcome any translates in the comments, please excuse any if they are offensive. I think it's really interesting to be drawn to something visually without understanding its full meaning. 

Enjoy.


















Haircuttery

While in Istanbul, I got my hair cut in a basement vintage shop. I wandered in and loved what I saw, but couldn't find any clothes that were quite right; everything was just a little too small or too big. Over the course of shopping, I became acquainted with the owner, a young, stylish Turkish gentleman named Bora. We got along well, so I was distraught when I couldn't find something to wear. I noticed that he had a barber chair in the corner of the shop, so I asked if he could cut hair. He replied that he could, so I proposed that he cut my hair then and there. He agree, and away we went. 

Here are photos from the vintage shoot we did two days later; Bora kindly let us use his shop to outfit the models for the shoot. I'm wearing a vintage silk dress, glasses, and sporting the rock and roll Bettie Page haircut he gave me. 

Captured by the amazing Turkish photograpaher Ilke Şahin.





Turkish Fashion: Nil

Here are a few sneak preview shots of a vintage fashion shoot with Turkish model Nil Keser. We spent a day traipsing around the back streets of Galata in Istanbul, head to toe in the most wicked vintage you can imagine. Don't worry, there's a major story around how we came to do this shoot, let me assure you. It will come, as will the rest of the photos...be patient! I had quite a weekend and can't wait to share the details soon. 







A Little Bit Showy

I love mixing scale, whether it be in fashion, interior design, or the creation of a photo. Though her hair and makeup are minimalist, art historian and scholar Joanna Bojda's brass-knuckle-esque ring suddenly gives her a surprising edge. Offset by the colorful night lights of Istanbul, the skewed proportions of dancer Kelsea Burch's body to her shadow make the middle shot dynamic. In the last shot, I love the striking colors and extreme perspective shot from the base of the wall; suddenly a little 3-story house is making quite a statement indeed. 

Photographed at DC Here Now and Submerge DC art events last night. Had a great time, met dynamic people, and of course got some amazing photos. I'm going to keep them under wraps for now, but keep checking back! Can't wait to share with you.