THE BYZANTINE CAR WASH

 

Built as a chapel by the Genoese after the destruction and dislocation of the 4th Crusade, this brick structure has survived since the 13th century despite being built right onto by modern structures on both sides. I think we are looking at the remains of the choir loft, with the nave stretching beyond. The building is perfectly symmetrical, with

still-functional offices on both sides of the doorway, which stood much taller before the surface of the street was raised. After the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul, the chapel was turned into a slaughterhouse for chickens, and now it’s a car wash. How the car wash denizens get the cars in and out is a mystery, as the street is only as wide as an alley. The owners, dreading a governmental demolition for another superfluous hotel, were told when they bought it that they could not knock it down, but have been given no money to maintain it. They have opened it as a Cultural Center at monthly neighborhood craft fairs, and it is one f the most beloved places in the area. This actual artwork is much bigger than the sketchbook drawings, at 50 X 70 centimeters. I drew most of it in June 2014 and finished it up in 2016. Happily the Byzantine Car Wash is still with us now in 2018, and excellent street artist ET has updated the skull.

How it began:

Karakoy c1204 AD/CE. Genoese on Byzantine foundation- chapel slaughterhouse car wash, now doomed for a hotel. @TriciVenola 2014-2016

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