Graffiti artist Tünay decorates Istanbul’s walls

Graffiti artist Tünay decorates Istanbul’s walls

Graffiti artist Tünay decorates Istanbul’s walls

Ahmet Sedat Tünay is among Istanbul’s most distinctive graffiti artists and his colorful work adorns walls across the city.

Tünay has been interested in painting and drawing since he was a child and first encountered the art of graffiti at the start of the 2000s. 

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Tünay said he particularly loved graffiti because it “does not have rules.” 

“I love it because I set up the rules myself … I have been painting walls on the streets since 2005. I speak to the owners of venues and receive their permission before starting on a wall,” he said. 

Graffiti artists usually sign their art with different names and Tünay uses the name “Sailor Bedae.” 

“We use the spray paint technic in graffiti along with auxiliary materials. There are also other paints, pencils and brushes, but we generally use spray paint. First of all, we make the sketch of what we want to paint on paper. If the wall’s surface is bad then we use plaster to create a surface for the graffiti. Then we start painting the wall. The paint that we use are environmentally friendly paints. We use spray paints produced for artistic paintings and graffiti. If the surface is good, the painting can stay in a good condition on the wall for five or six years. People also became part of this art by liking these paintings, taking their photos and sharing them on social media,” Tünay said. 

“I am particularly pleased when I see people taking photos in front of my graffiti. But we don’t want them to take photos only; we want them to understand it. Graffiti is generally not recognized as an art in schools even though people have to use their talents to make it. We don’t expect medals from people but we don’t want them to defame our work. We want them to understand that this is not just a background, but also the result of talent and labor,” he added. 

“People sometimes take action against us because they do not really know about what we do. Or they tell us to stop doing it. Someone will come and write something on the wall, maybe swearing or political writing. But we should do graffiti to make the environment more beautiful,” Tünay said. 

“Old people in a neighborhood congratulate us after seeing what we do. We don’t give political messages but simply adorn the walls. All we do is paint the walls,” he added. 

Tünay also noted that graffiti artists often earn money through commissions from offices familiar with their work from the street. However, they have so far not been able to make any project with a municipality. 

“If there is such a demand, we could develop such projects with other graffiti artists in Istanbul. For example, we could draw walls on highways,” he added.