Murals of Nir Peled, aka Pilpeled, are covering the walls of many cities: from Paris to Cape Town, from Los Angeles to Berlin. And now he left his signature in Istanbul. He drew one of his "owl eyed" children of 15 x 15 metres on a building in Kadıköy streets, a hip neighbourhood hosting many other murals.
Along with this mural, his exhibition at Black Flag Art Gallery, could be seen until October 1st. His works that are inspired by Istanbul are also exhibited. We met at the exhibition opening and found a place to sit on the street.
S: How do you feel having your mural out here, at this spot in Kadıköy?
P: I am so proud to be here. First of all I was very surprised to find out about the art scene here. What is happenning here is really cool. I met very open minded, new fresh local artists and the guys at Black Flag Art is like family.
To Overcome Prejudices with Art
S: I read that you think art can bypass the prejudices, like when you say you are from Israel.
P: Exactly. Israel has many different issues. We grew up into it and everywhere the Israeli new generation want to have fun, make art, do what we like and travel.
S: The prejudices are pretty much the same for a Turkish person travelling abroad.
P: Even we do not speak the same language I feel very much connected with the people I met here. We are working on bringing those friends to Tel Aviv.
S: That sounds really nice. And while you are here you produced some art works taking inspiration from Istanbul and Turkey like the historical peninsula or the Turkish film.
S: Great to see the cultural exchange here. You also painted murals in Berlin, as our conversation will appear at istanbulberlin I would like to ask you about Berlin.
My Favourite Restaurant in Berlin is a Turkish Restaurant
P: My favourite restaurant in Berlin is a Turkish restaurant, near to the park...
S: Görlitzer Park?
P: Yes, it is in the corner, do you know that?
S: I am not sure but I’ll check if I could visit again. How would you compare the scene in Berlin to Istanbul?
P: Here is much more cooler. Because coming here you discover something new. Everyone knows Berlin.
S: Oh I feel flattered. Let’s also talk about the children you paint. It makes a lot of sense that they are all around the world symbolizing different perspectives.
P: I can say a lot about them. They are called owl eyes. It is about being positive. I love kids, I used to work with kids. Because I do black and white sometimes it is too dark and kids make it a little softer. There is something cool about it but also positive. You do not get to see the eyes so like a mask. People are taking photos with them they also make the gesture getting in.
S: You were actually painting with colour before but now only black and white.
P: Yes, it wasn’t planned. Just because I have my brand, it is sort of a signature. People want to see color, asking me, I want to buy your painting but could you paint it with color? But time will come.
S: I like the sharpness and the simlicity.
P: Yes, it is simple.
S: Thank you for coming to Istanbul and giving this mural as a gift to my city.