After the Berlin Philharmonic Challenge, the next day saw us come down to a different level altogether. To be precise, street level in fact. This is because today, we were going to spend some time visiting one of the other things we enjoy. Which Berlin is also famous for – and this is street art. I know there are differing views on this but as I have posted before in the past, we have come to appreciate them. Of course, this is not plain old graffiti that is still prevalent in a lot of places (even in Berlin) but in fact, some wonderful pieces where I reckon the artist actually put a lot of thought and work into it.
And the first place on our list is not East Side Gallery but instead Bulowstrasse. It is easy to get to and you can take the U-bahn to either Nollendorfplatz or Bulowstrasse. Either way, just walk towards the direction of Urban Nation, which is situated in between the both stations.
Urban Nation is a young network of artists that are heavily involved in the street art scene. It is here that you will see some incredible works especially of their Project M. I know that artists often look for blank canvasses in the city but when you are invited to paint a wall of a building, that is something altogether. I was literally taken away by the mural. It is truly a work of art.
The artist for this mural is Li-Hill based in Toronto. Combining his degree in Fine Arts with graffiti and mural painting, he uses illustration, stenciling and sculptural elements. He has had works shown in national institutions like the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and my very own National Gallery of Victoria right here in Melbourne!
Here are some other works by various artists that are exhibited and where I can, I will acknowledge who they are and what bio I could find.
This piece is done by the two founding members of the London Police. The London Police are known for their ‘Lads’ characters but have since come and gone. Believe it or not, the circles are done without compasses, guides or masks. One of them has the unique ability to draw circles ‘freehand’! Whilst the other has a different style altogether composed of just line drawings.
A piece by another duo going by the name Herakut. “Hera” is Jasmin Siddiqui from Frankfurt and “Akut” is Falk Lehman from Schmalkalden. As you can tell, they have a humanitarian approach to art with more than half of their work dedicated to charity causes. To date, they have published two books on street art spanning seven years. Their goal is to beautify dark city spaces and instill positive signs of life and thought.
Finally, the last work for this post is by Shepard Fairey. He is likely the old man of street art and started of his career with the “Obey Giant” sticker campaign in 1989 which you can still see around today all over the world! There are even t-shirts. But it was in 2008, with his Obama Hope poster in red and blue colours that shot him to fame. His works have been exhibited in numerous institutions since including the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)