Language of the Wall

Graffiti / Street Art

Language of the Wall

Today, graffiti and street art have moved out of their underground era and are no longer recognized as vandalism, but rather as a global art movement. Since the 1990s, the appreciation for graffiti and street art in Turkey has increased significantly having influenced not only a small artistic circle, but several generations, and with the exhibition Language of the Wall: Graffiti / Street Art, this art form is presented in a museum setting for the first time. Curated by Roxane Ayral, the exhibition aimed to offer a historic insight with its selection of international and local artists; by bringing together the current dynamics of the street, different styles and aesthetic notions and addressing the movement alongside other disciplines such as photography and music. 

The exhibition catalogue features commissioned works by 22 artists from different generations and disciplines, from America, Germany, France, Japan, as well as Turkey, along with selected photographs from the archive of leading artists Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Hugh Holland. Substantial essays on graffiti and street art culture are also included in the catalogue.

Publication year: 2014 
Page number:


7 Foreword
Suna, İnan & İpek Kıraç

9 Language of the Wall: Graffiti / Street Art
Roxane Ayral

19 A Counterculture to the Museum: Urban Art Challenging the Institution
Stephanie Lemoine

25 A Movement of Multiples Forms: Urban Contemporary Art
Nicolas Chenus & Samantha Longhi

31 Graffiti, Street Art, Muralism… What If We Stop Confusing Them?

39 Re-Mixing Art History
Carlos Mare

43 The Faith of Graffiti
Norman Mailer

65 Collecting Street Art / Urban Art
Robin Soulier

69 On the Early Days of Hip Hop Culture with Turbo and Ulaş
Roxane Ayral, Tunç “Turbo” Dindaş, Ulaş Demiröz

76 Artists

250 Glossary

Language of the Wall

Pera Museum hosted, for the first time in Turkey, an exhibition on one of the art world’s hottest topics – Graffiti and Street Art. Work from America and Europe were exhibited, providing interesting examples examining the concept of ‘graffiti’ and ‘bringing the street to the museum’, as well as creating a platform for discussion and debate.

Language of the Wall