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Interview

Final flourish

Istanbul native Tolga Tarhan was honoured to be selected to create the artwork for this season’s Champions League final

INTERVIEW Michael Harrold

I was born and raised in Istanbul. I studied painting at the Mimar Sinan Fine Art University, which has one of the best views of the beautiful Bosphorus and the historical city silhouette in its own backyard. I lived in the Asian side of the city and travelled to the European side across the Bosphorus by ferry, so I was fortunate to experience the beauty the city has to offer every single day. I feel so lucky to have grown up in one of the most magical cities in the world.

The city is a great inspiration for an artist. The history, the people, the culture and, of course, the food! I love that the city is packed with colour, motion, sound and feeling. Some parts of Istanbul are like a colourful Tetris game, with shapes and colours layered over each other. There are also domed shapes and spiked structures that create a pleasing and naturally abstract composition. For me, Istanbul is a really cinematographic city, both visually and emotionally. 

The Karaköy district is my favourite part of Istanbul. The street vendors, food carts, bustling ferry stations, narrow alleyways packed with art galleries, restaurants and bars, and of course the Golden Horn waterway. You can take in the beautiful Istanbul skyline while having a Turkish tea and simit [bun] at a café on the banks of the Bosphorus at Karaköy, and watch the seagulls and ferries pass by. You can easily reach the Historical Peninsula and its many famous sites from here – it’s just a short walk over the Galata Bridge. It’s the perfect place to be.

"I’ve always been influenced by modern-art painters like David Hockney and Alex Katz for their use of colour and composition. Turkish painter Adnan Çoker too, who is a master of light and gradient in his work."
By

I wanted to create an abstract depiction of Istanbul at sunset for the final design, so I wanted to use the rich colours of the city sky and vivid lights. I took inspiration from my aesthetic and soulful experience living in this beautiful city. It was impossible to create a design depicting Istanbul without using the Bosphorus Bridge, which connects the Asian and European continents. Also, the Galata Tower, the Obelisk and the aqueducts are some of the city’s most visually exceptional structures. Additionally I wanted to add a silhouette of a mosque to the composition, to reference the historic mosques you see throughout the city.

The main inspiration behind the colours was the city itself. When I was asked to create a colour palette for the final design, I thought about the sunset over the Bosphorus and the rich shimmering lights you see sitting on a terrace at Karaköy, looking out over the Eminönü waterfront. I wanted to create a calm feeling depicting the golden hour of this inspirational city after a busy day. I’ve always been influenced by modern-art painters like David Hockney and Alex Katz for their use of colour and composition. Turkish painter Adnan Çoker too, who is a master of light and gradient in his work.

I’m a fan of Fenerbahçe, who are based in the largest district on the Asian side of Istanbul, Kadıköy. I was born and raised in Kadıköy, so I’ve supported them from birth. As a fan I was more passionate during my early adulthood, but I still enjoy watching major games with friends and family.

I’m so excited and looking forward to seeing my design across the city. I can’t wait! I designed the key artwork in 2018 but the event was twice postponed due to the pandemic. It’s going to be so wonderful to finally see my design this year. I was so honoured to be picked to create an artwork depicting my hometown.

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Interview

Final flourish

Istanbul native Tolga Tarhan was honoured to be selected to create the artwork for this season’s Champions League final

INTERVIEW Michael Harrold

I was born and raised in Istanbul. I studied painting at the Mimar Sinan Fine Art University, which has one of the best views of the beautiful Bosphorus and the historical city silhouette in its own backyard. I lived in the Asian side of the city and travelled to the European side across the Bosphorus by ferry, so I was fortunate to experience the beauty the city has to offer every single day. I feel so lucky to have grown up in one of the most magical cities in the world.

The city is a great inspiration for an artist. The history, the people, the culture and, of course, the food! I love that the city is packed with colour, motion, sound and feeling. Some parts of Istanbul are like a colourful Tetris game, with shapes and colours layered over each other. There are also domed shapes and spiked structures that create a pleasing and naturally abstract composition. For me, Istanbul is a really cinematographic city, both visually and emotionally. 

The Karaköy district is my favourite part of Istanbul. The street vendors, food carts, bustling ferry stations, narrow alleyways packed with art galleries, restaurants and bars, and of course the Golden Horn waterway. You can take in the beautiful Istanbul skyline while having a Turkish tea and simit [bun] at a café on the banks of the Bosphorus at Karaköy, and watch the seagulls and ferries pass by. You can easily reach the Historical Peninsula and its many famous sites from here – it’s just a short walk over the Galata Bridge. It’s the perfect place to be.

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"I’ve always been influenced by modern-art painters like David Hockney and Alex Katz for their use of colour and composition. Turkish painter Adnan Çoker too, who is a master of light and gradient in his work."
By

I wanted to create an abstract depiction of Istanbul at sunset for the final design, so I wanted to use the rich colours of the city sky and vivid lights. I took inspiration from my aesthetic and soulful experience living in this beautiful city. It was impossible to create a design depicting Istanbul without using the Bosphorus Bridge, which connects the Asian and European continents. Also, the Galata Tower, the Obelisk and the aqueducts are some of the city’s most visually exceptional structures. Additionally I wanted to add a silhouette of a mosque to the composition, to reference the historic mosques you see throughout the city.

The main inspiration behind the colours was the city itself. When I was asked to create a colour palette for the final design, I thought about the sunset over the Bosphorus and the rich shimmering lights you see sitting on a terrace at Karaköy, looking out over the Eminönü waterfront. I wanted to create a calm feeling depicting the golden hour of this inspirational city after a busy day. I’ve always been influenced by modern-art painters like David Hockney and Alex Katz for their use of colour and composition. Turkish painter Adnan Çoker too, who is a master of light and gradient in his work.

I’m a fan of Fenerbahçe, who are based in the largest district on the Asian side of Istanbul, Kadıköy. I was born and raised in Kadıköy, so I’ve supported them from birth. As a fan I was more passionate during my early adulthood, but I still enjoy watching major games with friends and family.

I’m so excited and looking forward to seeing my design across the city. I can’t wait! I designed the key artwork in 2018 but the event was twice postponed due to the pandemic. It’s going to be so wonderful to finally see my design this year. I was so honoured to be picked to create an artwork depicting my hometown.

Interview

Final flourish

Istanbul native Tolga Tarhan was honoured to be selected to create the artwork for this season’s Champions League final

INTERVIEW Michael Harrold

I was born and raised in Istanbul. I studied painting at the Mimar Sinan Fine Art University, which has one of the best views of the beautiful Bosphorus and the historical city silhouette in its own backyard. I lived in the Asian side of the city and travelled to the European side across the Bosphorus by ferry, so I was fortunate to experience the beauty the city has to offer every single day. I feel so lucky to have grown up in one of the most magical cities in the world.

The city is a great inspiration for an artist. The history, the people, the culture and, of course, the food! I love that the city is packed with colour, motion, sound and feeling. Some parts of Istanbul are like a colourful Tetris game, with shapes and colours layered over each other. There are also domed shapes and spiked structures that create a pleasing and naturally abstract composition. For me, Istanbul is a really cinematographic city, both visually and emotionally. 

The Karaköy district is my favourite part of Istanbul. The street vendors, food carts, bustling ferry stations, narrow alleyways packed with art galleries, restaurants and bars, and of course the Golden Horn waterway. You can take in the beautiful Istanbul skyline while having a Turkish tea and simit [bun] at a café on the banks of the Bosphorus at Karaköy, and watch the seagulls and ferries pass by. You can easily reach the Historical Peninsula and its many famous sites from here – it’s just a short walk over the Galata Bridge. It’s the perfect place to be.

"I’ve always been influenced by modern-art painters like David Hockney and Alex Katz for their use of colour and composition. Turkish painter Adnan Çoker too, who is a master of light and gradient in his work."
By

I wanted to create an abstract depiction of Istanbul at sunset for the final design, so I wanted to use the rich colours of the city sky and vivid lights. I took inspiration from my aesthetic and soulful experience living in this beautiful city. It was impossible to create a design depicting Istanbul without using the Bosphorus Bridge, which connects the Asian and European continents. Also, the Galata Tower, the Obelisk and the aqueducts are some of the city’s most visually exceptional structures. Additionally I wanted to add a silhouette of a mosque to the composition, to reference the historic mosques you see throughout the city.

The main inspiration behind the colours was the city itself. When I was asked to create a colour palette for the final design, I thought about the sunset over the Bosphorus and the rich shimmering lights you see sitting on a terrace at Karaköy, looking out over the Eminönü waterfront. I wanted to create a calm feeling depicting the golden hour of this inspirational city after a busy day. I’ve always been influenced by modern-art painters like David Hockney and Alex Katz for their use of colour and composition. Turkish painter Adnan Çoker too, who is a master of light and gradient in his work.

I’m a fan of Fenerbahçe, who are based in the largest district on the Asian side of Istanbul, Kadıköy. I was born and raised in Kadıköy, so I’ve supported them from birth. As a fan I was more passionate during my early adulthood, but I still enjoy watching major games with friends and family.

I’m so excited and looking forward to seeing my design across the city. I can’t wait! I designed the key artwork in 2018 but the event was twice postponed due to the pandemic. It’s going to be so wonderful to finally see my design this year. I was so honoured to be picked to create an artwork depicting my hometown.

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