Just a few hours left to "Happy New Year"! Or as one would say in Istanbul "Mutlu Yıllar"! If you should be in this magical city at the moment, you will probably be enjoying a traditional cake – containing chestnut to ensure good luck – and potentially also a moderate climate.

Generally speaking, Istanbul is of course a great place to be at any time of the year – especially for all art lovers. Therefore, one of the Shorties in the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors is dedicated to this buzzing city. In the current edition of the guide seven of these short texts are dedicated to international art metropolises.

So far, we have introduced you to a handful of them, like BeijingNew York or Buenos Aires. As the last one for this year, we would like to invite you to read our Shorty about Istanbul - a city where one can celebrate New Year’s Eve on two continents.

"The development of the art scene in Istanbul can be described in one word: speedy. Within the span of just a few years, Turkish contemporary art has moved into the international spotlight, and despite low support from the state, an active arts scene has managed to emerge. This is due to the private sector, with both corporations and banks generously subsidizing the city’s art institutions. Akbank Sanat, which has been around since 1993, is sponsored by a financial institution. So is Istanbul Modern, a private museum of modern and contemporary art established in 2004 by an industry group in a former warehouse on the Bosporus. Both institutions are located in the Beyoglu district, considered one of the most important addresses of the local scene. Here you’ll find a smattering of young galleries, such as Pi Artworks, Galeri Non, Galerist, Galeri Nev, and Pirosmani. Additional art institutions in Istanbul reflecting the contemporary art scene are Santralistanbul, located in a former power plant, or Borusan Sanat, which houses artists’ studios. There’s also Salt, which has a walk-in movie theater and a roof terrace, or Garaj, a non-profit center that publishes the magazine Gist. The Istanbul Biennale, launched in 1987, made a decisive contribution to the development of the Istanbul art scene. Today it’s one of the most important art biennials, alongside Venice, São Paulo, and Sydney. The Istanbul Biennale, held from mid-September to mid-November, starts at the same time as the annual art fair Contemporary Istanbul. Since September 2013, the city has also been home to the Artinternational Istanbul, a new art fair which sees itself as a bridge between East and West."

The freelance journalist Silvia Anna Barrilà is specialized in the art market. Since 2008 she has been writing for the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore and for international media covering art, including Damn, Auction Central News, Artinvestor, and Monopol.

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