New pieces appear year round on the streets of Berlin but it has been noticeable that since the weather has improved more artists have been hitting the city. With lots of great Street Art from ALANIZ, ALIAS, CAZ.L and El Bocho to name a few, the problem with compiling this post wasn’t finding good work but agonizing over what to leave out.
That just means that there’s plenty in the bag for more posts though.
It’s always good to find new work by ALIAS and I love the pieces that appeared in Mitte recently.
This is the first time I’ve seen a Peter Pink piece for myself so the first time he’s appeared on andBerlin but I love the humour in his work that I’ve seen on his Facebook page and other blogs – especially his potatoes.
I used a piece by Berlin based street artist CAZ.L in my Dog Lover post and here are a couple more paste-ups spotted in the city lately. I don’t know much (read next to nothing) about the artist but check out the Facebook Page for updates.
It would seem that El Bocho favourite Little Lucy has spent the winter coming up with a business plan – she’s still finding inventive ways to kill Kitti who is now on the menu.
Robi The Dog
I don’t know if Swiss artist Robi The Dog has moved to Berlin but I’ve seen new works from him regularly since last summer.
Plenty of paste-ups by Swiss street artist .FRA have appeared on walls and doors all over Berlin lately – I’ve seen them in Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding.
.FRA and Robi The Dog
These two Swiss guys have obviously been out pasting together and I love this combination.
Stay tuned for more great Berlin Street Art soon.
My Berlin Songs series, which features songs that are either inspired by Berlin, about the city or by artists based here, continues with Sex Pistols – Holidays in the Sun.
Singer John Lydon says of the song on the Sex Pistols website:
“I loved Berlin. I loved the wall and the insanity of the place. The communists looked in on the circus atmosphere of West Berlin, which never went to sleep, and that would be their impression of the West.”
Thanks to Gilly for sending me a link to this great video of Thierry Noir in Berlin in 1985 (including footage of him painting the Berlin Wall along the Bethaniendamm in Kreuzberg with Christophe Bouchet) that features the song.
Thierry Noir is a French Street Artist whose work features at the East Side Gallery next to a section removed by developers in a move that inspired protests and brought David Hasselhoff back to Berlin.
Holidays in the Sun is the opening track on the Sex Pistols only studio album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols.
Sex Pistols – Holidays in the Sun
French Street Artist JR began his Wrinkles of the City project in Cartegna in 2008 – since then, he has continued the theme in Shanghai, Los Angeles and Havana and this month, Berlin.
As luck would have it, I spotted JR and his crew at work at Warschauer Strasse two weeks ago today. Having recognised his work, I followed him on Twitter and Instagram, where he posted shots of work in progress and some of the completed artworks.
The concept behind Wrinkles of the City is to take photos of the old people living in the city in which the art will be displayed as large-scale paste-ups on walls that have their own texture so that the architectural wrinkles enhance the physical wrinkles.
JR has left his mark on between 15 and 20 walls in Berlin where suitable buildings are plentiful.
While he was here he also created impromptu artwork at the East Side Gallery, where he rebuilt a section of the wall recently removed by developers amid protests and added a paste up. In this article in Berliner Morgenpost (auf Deutsch) it is alleged that a Security Guard was knocked out during the incident. A photo of the artwork has subsequently been removed from JR’s intagram feed.
This isn’t JR’s first contribution to Street Art in Berlin. JR collaborated with BLU on the mural at Cuvrystrasse that represents the struggle for East and West to remove each other’s masks to reveal their true identity, which featured in my BLU in Berlin post. JR’s input, the eyes, had unfortunately long since disappeared by the time I first came to Berlin in 2009. There is also a huge pair of eyes under the railway bridge from Friedrichstrasse station at Schiffbauerdamm.
An exhibition of Wrinkles of the City at Galerie Henrink Springmann runs until 25 May 2013, with two of the outdoor pieces nearby. The exhibition includes original artworks on wood, incredible photos from the project in previous cities, a captivating multi-screen video installation (with blinking eyes) in the front room and a film of JR at work on loop in the back of the gallery. It really compliments the street work and I would highly recommend a visit.
You can see more photos of JR’s Wrinkles of the City project in Berlin on his website, including photos of the piece on Warschauer Strasse with an uninterrupted view – an advantage of having access to the train tracks (parked trains have been in the way each time I’ve been there).
Also, for an interview with JR about the project, shot while he completed the work at Postbahnhof, check out this video from Enter Berlin, a YouTube channel dedicated to urban culture, art, food, fashion and music.
Street Artist JR – Wrinkles of the City // On the Beat
I hope to find more of the JR pieces from Wrinkles of the City in Berlin over the coming weeks. Sooner rather than later hopefully because there is a question over how long some might last – the diggers are already perilously close to this piece.
John Reiss’s Graffiti and Street Art documentary, Bomb It traces the development of the movement from the early writers in Philadelphia and New York to the adoption of Street Art imagery in mainstream advertising and exhibitions in galleries.
Berlin features along with other cities with an Urban Art heritage and by talking to artists active in these places the film examines the roots of the culture and different motivations of the players.
Reiss also speaks to the people who are trying to buff and arrest their way to ‘cleaner streets’.
Bomb it is a must see documentary for Street Art and Graffiti enthusiasts.
When I first visited Teufelsberg in August 2010 there was plenty of graffiti about and the odd bit of Street Art but thanks to the aborted Berlin Artbase 2012 event the former NSA Listening Station is a veritable Street Art Gallery.
The climb up the Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) in the Grunewald is worth it for the views and the opportunity to walk around the former NSA facility alone (find out more about my latest visit here) but the quality of the Street Art is an added bonus.
PAOD may be familiar to Berlin Street Art fans for the piece painted with Hannes Höhlig on Utrechter Strasse for Wedding Walls.
SAM Crew is a Berlin Street Art collective comprising John Reaktor, Hazard Hope, Duke Cuke, Billo and Fogeljunge.
SAM Crew featured in my post re:MMX – Art Exhibition in Berlin.
JBAK is a collaboration between James Bullough and Addison Karl. Like SAM Crew, their work featured in my re:MMX – Art Exhibition in Berlin post.
Mein Lieber Prost
It is difficult to do justice to this huge mural by ALANIZ that covers the whole of one wall of the main building.
There were a number of pieces by ALIAS and as I have seen before with his work on the streets of Berlin some had been attacked. The features of his ‘Body Body Head’ paste up had been painted out and the scrawl across this ‘Headless’ piece suggests animosity that the spot had been reserved for ALIAS.
Thanks to James of JBAK for commenting to let me know that this piece is by KEN (aka Plotterroboter or Plotbot). Ironically, there were other pieces by KEN at Teufelsberg that I had kept back for a post just about his art.
KEN’s art was the highlight of the Stattmarkt Christmas Art Market at Stattbad Wedding for me and also featured in my post about the abandoned laundry and dyeing factory of Rewatex.
Thanks to Ambush for getting in touch to let me know that this Bending Berlin Baby piece based on the character Bender from Futurama is his work. You can see more of what he’s up to on his website.
If anyone knows the artists for any of these pieces please let me know in the comments so that I can give the proper credit.