Berlin Street Art Vol 15 – Various Artists

A new year, a new selection of remarkable street art from Berlin to feast your eyes on, including some new artists as well as some very familiar faces.  As usual, where an artist has featured here before you can click on their name to see more of their work.

Dave the Chimp

According to his website, Dave the Chimp was ‘born in an egg on a mountain top’.  As well as decorating the streets with his quirky characters his artwork adorns skateboards and snowboards.

He has also turned his hand to directing music videos and one of my Berlin Songs series, Robots in Disguise – I Live in Berlin features snippets of the video he directed for the band’s song Girl.

Nutty Protest - Street Art by Dave the Chimp in Berlin

Negative Vibes

Stigmata - Street Art by Negative Vibes in Berlin

Marshal Arts

New to andBerlin, these Run DMC paste-ups from Marshal Arts gave me a chuckle.  See more from Marshal Arts on Facebook.

Run DMC - Street Art by Marshal Arts in Berlin Run DMC 2 - Street Art by Marshal Arts in Berlin

Lake

Born Christian Wahle in East Berlin, Lake runs the indoor climbing facility Der Kegel in Berlin’s RAW Gelände where his artworks adorn the walls.

Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood - Street Art by Lake in Berlin

See more work from Lake on his website.

Bobby Aviles

Salvador Dali - Street Art by Bobby Aviles in Berlin

El Bocho

Judging by the response to my Tourist Information From Tina Berlina post, I’m not the only one who loves this character by El Bocho.  I’ve also thrown in a Little Lucy for good measure.

Tina Berlina - Try a Döner - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin DJ Little Lucy - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin

Otto Schade

This baby ‘using’ a policeman’s helmet is very different from the other Otto Schade pieces I’ve seen in Berlin and London and I LOVE IT.

Baby - Street Art by Otto Schade in Berlin

Check out the Otto Schade website for more from this Chilean artist.

SOON

Homeless - Street Art by SOON in Berlin

Unknown Artists

If you recognise either of these pieces and know who the artist is, please let me know in the comments so I can give the proper credit.

Cop One - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin Old Man - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

Sunday Documentary: Ostblut

Kalle from Oldschool Tattoo Berlin from Ostblut by Sammy Metwalli

Photo: Still from Ostblut by Sammy Metwalli

Filmed, edited and directed by Berlin-based filmmaker Sammy Metwalli, Ostblut is a short documentary about Kalle, a tattoo artist who opened East Berlin’s fist tattoo shop.

Growing up in East Berlin under DDR rule, Kalle describes himself as ‘a public enemy’, and it was whilst imprisoned for his political views that he learned how to tattoo from an older inmate who recognised his artistic talents.

Tattoos were not tolerated in the East German prison system and inking or being inked was punished by 3 weeks solitary confinement in the ‘Bunker’.  Kalle was serving out one such punishment when he learned of the fall of the wall, an event that would dramatically alter his life and facilitate his new career.

My second life started that day. Before that, I didn’t have a life.

The walls of Kalle’s shop, Oldschool Tattoo Berlin, in his native Friedrichshain are decorated with the homemade tattoo needles used by youths in the DDR during his childhood, though these days the equipment he uses is obviously more sophisticated.

Ostblut is a cracking documentary on many levels: Kalle’s is a fascinating story and an interesting portrait of life in Berlin before and after the fall of the wall; it is artfully shot and creatively put together; it has a pulsating soundtrack ideally suited to the film – my only criticism, I wish there was more of it.

Ostblut

New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Silvester in Berlin – Part 2

A Rocket Misfires on The Streets of Berlin on New Year's Eve (Silvester)

Photo: Still from video by YouTube/TheChosenOne

This is the moment a presumably faulty firework explodes near a crowd of New Year’s Eve revellers on the street in Berlin.  As I mentioned yesterday in my post about JUST’s drive through Berlin on Silvester, Berliners love to let off fireworks as part of their NYE celebrations.

There is something about Silvester in Berlin – it may be the booze, the collective excitement of everyone celebrating together, or maybe the overflowing adrenaline and testosterone produced by all those loud bangs – that sees sense fly out the window.

As this next video shows, Berliners love to let rockets fly straight from their hands, and whilst this might make for a striking image you have to wonder about the risk of injury.

Silvesterballerei

// via B.Z. //

And with all those fireworks and all that madness things have to go wrong sometimes right?  As a rocket misfires and explodes amongst a group partying on the streets of Berlin, a man runs past the camera first removing his burning top and then turning his attention to the fire in his crotch.  If that doesn’t make you think twice about your New Year’s Eve celebrations in Berlin and how crazy Silvester fireworks are, nothing will.

This is what new year in Berlin looks like

// via überlin //

New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Silvester in Berlin

New Year's Eve Fireworks - Berlin Silvester

Photo – Still from New Year’s Eve in BERLIN by JUST

Frohes Neues!  Happy New Year!  Blywddyn Newydd Dda!  2015, just like every new year in Berlin, started with a bang.  Berliners love their fireworks on New Year’s Eve (Silvester or Sylvester depending on your preference) and Berlin-based photographer and journalist JUST was out on the streets filming the mayhem.

When I saw a video of the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Neukölln a few years ago I was amazed by the carnage and this year I was a part of it.  The friends I celebrated with had brought the appropriately named Boom Booms and plenty of other Böller (bangers) and rockets.

Standing at the bus stop on our way to a NYE party I commented to Steffi that I wouldn’t want to drive a car through the streets with all the fireworks going off around me.  Having watched the video that JUST made I kind of wish that I had. Sit back and enjoy a trip along the Karl-Marx-Allee in Friedrichshain, over the Oberbaumbrücke into Kreuzberg and finishing in Neukölln.  Experience in the safety of your own home the fireworks of a Berlin Silvester.

New Year’s Eve in BERLIN 1.1.2015 (long Version

// via JUST //

The Woman Who Married The Berlin Wall

Eija-Riitta Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer, the woman who married the Berlin Wall

Photo: via kotzendes-einhorn.de

“Wow. He’s more good looking than in the pictures.”  This is how Eija-Riitta Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer, who married the Berlin wall on 17 June 1979 describes her feelings on first ‘meeting’ the wall.

Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer, who lives in Liden, Sweden in a house that doubles as a guillotine museum, fell in love with the Berlin wall when she saw it on television when she was 7.

Asked for the Swedish TV series 100 höjdare (100 Highlights) about the first time she had sex with the Berlin wall, she says that she was 12 or 13, though she is coy about the details of the encounter.

In her bedroom she shows Fredrik Wikingsson the 1:20 scale model of the wall she sleeps with, the sixth such model she built complete with barbed wire.  She also has a fence in her room though ‘he’ is too big to take to bed.

Unlike the many thousand of people celebrating on 9 November 1989, Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer describes the day the wall fell as a ‘catastrophe’.

In Lars Laumann’s film Berlinermuren, which was shown at the 5th Berlin Biennale and propelled her into the media spotlight she elaborates on her feelings about what she feels is the mutilation of her husband and singles out the Hoff for criticism for the part she feels he played:

Shame on you David Hasselhoff – you are nothing without that talking car.

100 höjdare – Berlin Wall Woman (Berlinmurenkvinnan)

Eija-Riitta Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer isn’t alone in having strong feelings for the wall.  Erika Eiffel is an American who married the Eiffel Tower in 2007 and also has a relationship with the Berlin Wall.

She is the founder of OS Internationale, an organisation for those who are attracted to and have relationships with inanimate objects.

Taboo: In Love With The Berlin Wall

Curry & Chili – Currywurst with a kick in Berlin

Close up of Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili Berlin

As a general rule Currywurst is a sausage smothered in ketchup with a sprinkling of curry powder but the best Currywurstbuden take things a step further.  You could say that Curry & Chili on the corner of Osloer Strasse and Prinzenallee in Berlin Wedding has taken it several steps, as it lays claim to the title of Deutschlands schärfster Imbiss (Germany’s spiciest snack bar).

Curry & Chili, a Currywurst Imbiss in Berlin

Frank Spieß opened his Imbiss in 2005 with the intention of offering a 1 Euro takeout but rising costs meant he had to increase prices and led to him searching out a new concept.  Driven by his own passion for spicy food, Frank decided to offer 5 different levels of spiciness.

There are now 12 options on offer.  First, the standard Currywurst with a sprinkling of curry powder and then, with the addition of chilli flakes, what most Buden will serve when you ask for ‘ein bisschen shärfer’.

And that’s when it starts to get interesting.

The 10 Sauces in the window at Curry & Chili Berlin

The brave, or foolhardy depending on your viewpoint, can now opt to add one of 10 levels of spiciness from a range of sauces – from Crazy Jerry at 11,000 Scoville to the own-brand, Curry & Chili Gold Edition at 7,777,777 Scoville.

The 10 sauces (Stufen) on offer at Curry & Chili Berlin

Photo: Courtesy of Curry & Chili

I’ve been to Curry & Chili three times now and the spiciest Currywurst I have eaten is the Stufe 5 – 250,000 Scoville – and I’m pretty sure this is right on my limit.  It was a bit of an effort to eat the two sausages I had and I didn’t quite finish my chips.  It is worth noting that as well as changing the spiciness, the different sauces also have a considerable affect on the flavour of the Currywurst.

Obviously, there are plenty of people out there with a higher tolerance for spicy food or a greater desire to push themselves than me because the Curry & Chili Club, reserved for those who have eaten all 10 sauces, now boasts over 200 members.

The rules for anyone interested in joining (translated from the Curry & Chili website) are:

  1. All 10 levels must be eaten.
  2. All 10 must have been eaten within a 6-month timeframe.
  3. The sausage or chips must be eaten within sight of a Curry & Chili employee.
  4. The sauces can be eaten in any order but level 10 must be eaten last to complete the challenge.
  5. Membership is of course free of charge. Events for members will be displayed on the Curry & Chili website.

I’m pretty sure that this is the kind of challenge that would appeal to groups of men on a stag do (Junggesellenabschied) in Berlin or a ‘lads holiday’ but I have noticed that there are a number of female members too.

I think that the enjoyment is taken out of eating a Currywurst when your lips are burning and your eyes watering so I would definitely recommend working your way through the sauces to find your level.

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili Berlin

Curry & Chili is definitely the place to go for Currywurst in Berlin if you would like to test your capacity for spicy food but the standard of the sausages and the ketchup, made fresh each day by Frank’s wife, mean that I would recommend it for a more leisurely and pleasant snack too.

Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy

ALANIZ Painting at Bärenquell Brauerei in Berlin - still from Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy by Vocativ

Photo: Still from Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy by Vocativ

I find the comparison to Banksy in the title annoying given their very different styles but if you can get past that, Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy offers some fascinating insight into the motivation and creative process of the Berlin-based street artist.

Whilst taking Vocativ on a tour of his art in Berlin, ALANIZ, describes how moving to the German capital from Argentina transformed him and brought out a darker side to his art.

When I first discovered ALANIZ and posted about him I saw mostly colourful paste-ups but he has recently concentrated on larger walls painted with rollers in mainly black and white paint.

Speaking of these walls he says:

I don’t see that what I do is illegal.  What I’m doing actually is a favour for the community, you know, I’m making them look better.

Like Plotbot KEN, the subject of last week’s street art post, ALANIZ is a fan of painting on and in the city’s abandoned buildings.  Watching him free climb the walls of the Bärenquell Brauerei to get close to his piece there makes you wonder about the risks he is willing to take to paint in the perfect spot.

Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy

ALANIZ has featured many times on andBerlin, including in yesterday’s Berlin, Berlin: Autumn video, and will undoubtedly be seen here again soon – until then you can see more of his street art on his Facebook page and Flickr stream.

Berlin, Berlin: Autumn

Berlin Street Artist ALANIZ at Bärenquell Brauerei from Berlin, Berlin Autumn

Photo: Still from Berlin, Berlin: Autumn by Nehemias Colindres

With less than a week to go until the winter solstice it’s time to celebrate one of the most beautiful times of the year in Berlin, autumn, with a short film from Nehemias Colindres – Berlin, Berlin: Autumn.

The film is an ode to Berlin set to some beautiful images of the city and, as the last stubborn brown leaves cling to the almost naked trees and icy winds hint at snow, we should remember the colours of autumn soon to be replaced by an almost exclusively grey on grey backdrop.

Berlin, Berlin: Autumn

Berlin Songs: Stephen Paul Taylor – Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked

Stephen Paul Taylor - Everybody Knows Shit's Fucked

Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video originally Instagram of Louisa Menke

Wearing tight trousers, chunky boots, a spangly top and a headscarf, Stephen Paul Taylor,a Canadian Wahlberliner, sings ‘Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked’ and then he starts to dance, flicking his legs in what will surely become the Office Party dance move of 2014.

The scene was captured by Louisa Menke a Dutch photographer and pro skater and posted to her Instagram account.

The “everybody knows shit fuck” dance

A video posted by Louisa Menke (@louisaamenke) on

The video was shared on Reddit and that’s when its popularity just took off.

Asked about the song in an interview for a Munich radio station, Taylor said:

I think it embodies the frustration and confusion that’s going on in the world right now. Because things are pretty fucked. Really all you can do is say Shit’s Fucked and accept it in a way. I think maybe that’s just the zeitgeist.

Spotting the opportunity that the viral video has presented SPT has recorded a full-length video for the song in his kitchen with some friends and there’s a release party at Urban Spree on 11 December 2014.

Stephen Paul Taylor – Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked (Reddit Edition)

If you like Stephen Paul Taylor’s Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked, you should check him out on Bandcamp and follow @blastingbrains on Twitter.

via // @gillyberlin //

Plotbot KEN – Street Art Goes Nuclear

Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin

The apocalyptic scenes in the works of Berlin street artist, Plotbot KEN are perfectly suited to the abandoned sites where he often paints.  The above piece is one of a number gracing the walls of the former NSA listening station at Teufelsberg.  His gallery work featured at the alternative Christmas Market, Stattmarkt at Stattbad Wedding.

Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin

You can see more Berlin street art from Plotbot KEN on his Facebook Page and Tumblr.