Sunday, April 29, 2007

Istanbul: City of a Hundred Names

Alex Webb... Istanbul: City of a Hundred Names at Joseph Bellows Gallery. "...The artist first visited Istanbul in 1998 and was drawn to the city's people and complex, layered history. Webb wrote, "For thirty-some years as a photographer I have been intrigued by borders, places where cultures come together, sometimes easily, sometimes roughly." As the only major city that extends over two continents, perhaps no city in the world better demonstrates cultures existing and blending together than Istanbul. In its history, Istanbul has been a much fought-over urban center and has been the capitol of two of the most powerful empires - the Byzantine and the Ottoman. The cultures and religions that coexist in Istanbul today are as many and as varied as the names the city has had.
As a street photographer Webb has said, "I only know how to approach a place by walking. For what does a street photographer do but walk and watch and wait and talk, and then watch and wait some more, trying to remain confident that the unexpected, the unknown, or the secret heart of the known awaits just around the corner."


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