Recently Maryam, one of the UAM team, went to Berlin for a few days, obviously she had to check out the urban/street art scene….
“After spending the last few days in Berlin I have one word ‘unique’! A city which was a focal point for tensions between the Allies and the Soviets is now of an urban, retro and very bohemian city, with yellow retro 50’s trains to colourful high-rise flats. After the wall came down the city’s streets have become artists empty canvasses on which to experiment with and create new art.
The art critic Emilie Trice has called Berlin “the graffiti Mecca of the urban art world” and it certainly is. The street graffiti art work in Berlin represents Germany’s history, the struggle when divided and marginalized groups within the country. With many artists travel from afar to get involved such as JBAK who have been pushing the scene out in Berlin for awhile now, check out the video for some of their work!
Street art in Berlin is a big industry. It attracts thousands of tourists and of course tourists bring money to a city deep in debt. This is why many say the city looks very urban and not modernised unlike other European cities. A lot observers call Berlin as the “bombed” city in Europe.
The Berlin wall is a big tourist attraction. Many street artists from the West saw East Berlin as a new playground . The extensive artwork, mostly done by paints and spray cans is a representation of people political views surrounding Germany, notions of anti capitalism, freedom as well as so rather interesting paintings of creatures, political figures and psychedelic objects.
The city is filled with art made by Swoon, TLP, C215, Neozoon, Rowdy, Miss Van, Above, Rero, Blu, Shepard Fairey, Muga, M-City, Armsrock, Mr. André, Primo, Invader, Swoon, Os Gemeos and Pure Evil to name a few.
As usually with street art there is a big argument within Berlin in terms of what art work would be considered as legal and illegal. Many locals believe that gang/crew tagging should be illegal in the country where as other artists argue differently, saying that street art including tags derives its power from being on the margins of society…
The pictures are just a few highlights of what I saw, get yourself over there to explore!”