Monday 3 March 2014

Unintentional Seapunk Pixel Art from Turkish Apartment Blocks

In 2010, I came across these two apartment blocks, closely located, in the back alleys of the Baglarbasi district, on the Asian coast of Istanbul. An unknown artist had decorated them with a pixel-art-like assortment of mosaics showing dolphins, orcas and ships.

 I wondered about this orca fixation - after all no orcas live anywhere close to Istanbul. The apartment blocks date from the early 90's, so I imagined that maybe, just maybe, the decorator was inspired by the 1993 blockbuster Free Willy.

These weird mosaics also reminded me of seapunk, the 2010s online subculture that revolved around intentionally tacky imagery of oceans, dolphins, orcas, crystals and the like.

Who knows what other weird things might be lurking in the tangled streets of Istanbul?