Peachbeach, Urban Spree, 2014
Berlin is a mecca for street art murals, thanks to its many abandoned places and empty fire walls all over town. Obviously this attracts many artists who come here to find huge canvases for their work and a freedom of expression that they might not have where they come from. In Berlin the people have an openness, even an eagerness for all the different genres of art and they especially enjoy it when it’s out in the public for everyone to see. I think I have never been in another city in the world where street art murals have achieved a similar status as the normal sights of a city that people come to see here.
Wall Dialogue is a group exhibition at Neurotitan Gallery opening this week on June 27, 2015 that showcases the work of 11 graffiti and street artists from Berlin (and one guest artist) who are mainly known for their large-size murals here in Berlin but also work in other cities all over the world. We have checked up on the artists and collected some of their murals here in Berlin, some of which still exists while others have been painted over already. Enjoy our new set of amazing artworks on the walls of Berlin after the jump.
Robert Montgomery, All Palaces, photo: Kai von Rabenau,
courtesy Neue Berliner Räume
You’ve probably heard the news by now: The glorious Stattbad Wedding has recently closed. This weekend the party makers of the club nights Stattnacht are throwing the last two parties in their temporary exile at one of the previously unused halls of Neue Heimat and after that an era has ended. I feel quite sad about this sudden development because the Stattbad was one of those locations that I have recommended through its entire run here on iHeartBerlin, for parties, exhibitions and other crazy stuff happening there. The old public swimming pool found a new purpose in the hands of the makers of Stattbad and the place including all its institutions such as the Open Walls gallery, the Stattbar and the Statt.lab was a wonderful experimental playground for a whole generation of creative Berliners and therefor an important part of the youth culture of Berlin for the past 6 years. It’s a shame that the place has closed so unexpectedly and there is not even a chance to have a final good-bye party there. So as an alternative we went back into our archive and compiled a huge best of from all the coverage and photos we have dedicated to Stattbad over the past 6 years and then some. Enjoy the Stattbad Chronicles after the jump and don’t feel ashamed to shed a tear for this amazing place on the final Stattnacht party on Saturday night and the open air on Sunday. We will miss you, Stattbad Wedding.
With the anticipation building for this year’s Fusion Festival, we’ve been inspired to create a list of new and more intimate summer music and arts festivals. Some are hosting performances and events at unique venues across Berlin, while others invite us take a break from the city life, pack some camping gear and escape to the beaches and forests not far away. This year welcomed a handful of new festivals with a focus on creating a community atmosphere where you can spend a weekend enjoying great music, quality food and drinks, exhibitions, installations, workshops and performances. It’s time to leave the club scene behind for a weekend and make the most of these festivals, many of which only come with the short-lived Berlin heat. Click on to discover what this summer holds in store.
photos: Gerrit Engel, courtesy of Sexauer Gallery
The latest exhibition opening by photographer Gerrit Engel at Sexauer Gallery had me thinking of my early days in Berlin back in the beginning of the 2000s. I call myself lucky that I have been in Berlin long enough to have had the possibility to enter the former Palace of the Republic, the once glamorous Chamber of the People and cultural meeting point of former East Germany. In my early days of Berlin the place stood there grey and silently at the riverside of the Spree like a big headstone to the grave of the GDR. The space was mostly abandoned and shut down for public access. The shiny copper plates of the facade that made the building look quite impressive back in the day were long removed and a concrete block remained obstructing the view to any of the beautiful historic buildings around it, no matter from which angle you looked.
But all of a sudden the place was opened again for temporary use. I don’t remember exactly if this happened at the same time, but there was also the announcement that the building would get taken down soon, so maybe this was the reason for the city to sublet it for cultural events so they could collect some money for the expensive demolition. I remember being in there for a couple of big parties and one really magnificent big exhibitions called Fraktale IV: Tod in 2005. It was awesome to see the space from the inside used by artists for huge elaborate exhibits, but without all the glamorous lamps that I knew from photos and that gave the place the nickname “Erich’s lamp shop” it kind of just looked like any other abandoned industrial building that Berlin has so many of. Well, none of them have had such a magnificent location and such a controversial history…
Discovering new street art murals in Berlin has been a great pleasure for us recently. Over the years Berlin has seen so many new ones. Some are ever changing, some disappear again, some are becoming iconic sights of the city. Especially initiatives like Urban Nation have brought a lot of paint by international artists onto the walls, such as the great new mural by Herakut in Prenzlauer Berg. But also the gift to Berlin from the Italian region of Puglia is a real gem at Moritzplatz. And than there are all these other classic ones from the past years that have all been part of some exhibitions. After the jump we have collected our favorite murals in Berlin with details where you can find them. You know any other great ones? Let us know in the comments.
And as we have already mentioned the mural from the region of Puglia that was painted by Italian artist Agostino Iacurci, we would like to remind you of the competition that is connected with this artwork and your chance to win a trip to the beautiful beaches of Puglia. More info on that after the jump.
In terms of exhibitions Berlin seems to be on fire right now. Recently I have been to so many exhibitions in a row that my head is still spinning from all the impressions and inspiration I got from it. I love that Berlin never seizes to amaze me with the art that is being shown here. And yes, maybe sometimes there are a lot of bad exhibitions here, but let’s focus on the good and at the moment there is quite a lot of good in town. To give you something to do for the next couple of weeks I compiled a list of 7 big exhibition that I think you shouldn’t miss. Enjoy the art after the jump.
Berlin-based photo artist Jan Herdlicka who we previously featured with his mysterious and dark photo series and who was also one of the artists of our WE ARE BERLIN photo exhibition just came out with a stunning new project! We already discovered his new series RE: KUNSTRUKT yesterday on Finding Berlin and now we are happy to be able to present it to you here as well.
His five beautiful collages show iconic architectural elements of Berlin reshaped and compiled together like abstract tree sculptures. They show the contrast of the human-made urban concrete structures that we surround ourselves with in our city lives and natural forms that might be completely forgotten in future generations. In a way this is a vision of how humanity might imagine “nature” in a time where they don’t have a chance to actually see it for real anymore. The retro-futuristic aesthetic of the pieces makes it even more haunting. These would make such brilliant additions to the current Radikal Modern exhibition about Berlin’s architectural boom in the 50-90s at Berlinische Galerie. Enjoy the series RE: KONSTRUKT after the jump.
Probably all the fashion enthusiast of Berlin have already paid a visit to the Mario Testino Exhibition at Kulturforum near Potsdamer Platz. Nonetheless we thought it would be still worth to review this unique exhibition because it’s not only relevant to people interested in fashion or advertisement, but it also gives a very critical perspective on the reality and surreality of images and beauty standards of our society therefore its thought provoking to both the haters and the fans of the fashion world.
Mario Testino is a Peruvian photographer who became successful in the 80s in London. I have to admit that for many years I always thought he was Italian because of his name, but he is actually from South America. For the fashion world he is probably one of the most iconic photographers and his imagery ranges from super artificial perfection to blurry authenticity. But he is not only known for the incredibly sexual imagery capable of projecting erotic fantasies on men and women alike. While visiting a panel this January I could experience how his incredible charm and sweet and creative personality is part of his artistic genius. Otherwise I don’t think that famous people such as Jennifer Lopez, Kate Winslet, Madonna and Kate Moss and many more would choose him over other photographers for unique and sometimes very intimate photography.
The exhibition “In Your Face” which is traveling around the world since 2012 is a tribute to his most famous photos from the different decades of his work. The photography itself is provocative, luscious and often very surreal. Watching famous ads or fashion shoots of magazines in big format and with perfect lightning will make enjoy the pictures on a different level. You also realize how much photoshopping and retouching is involved in creating the “perfect” images of beauty of our times. This becomes so evident while visiting this exhibition that it is somehow a relief. A relief from the pressure of society that always wants you to look better, thinner and younger everyday of your existence. Realizing that even the most famous people of our society have to be optimized so strongly to fulfill an unrealistic ideal that from up close its not even beautiful anymore makes you feel better about yourself. Or at least it did with me. The exhibition is still open until the 26 of July 2015. We are giving aways 2×2 tickets for the exhibition! More pictures and details after the jump.
As you know we are big fans of Berlin-themed illustrations and we can’t get enough of them. We’re always super happy when we get submission so when we received an eMail by Berlin-based Korean illustrator Sunkyong Kim with her new set of Berlin illustrations titled I hate Berlin – I love Berlin we were really excited. Her style is really adorable and cute, but what we like even more were all her observations that she made about the Germans. There are so many details embedded into the two big illustration it is really fun to discover them. Enjoy it after the jump.
“Are they masturbating?” I asked the artist Luisa Pohlmann when I first saw her new magnificent photorealistic portrait series of paintings showing women washing themselves and enjoying apparently whatever they were doing. But the answer to my unsolicited and quiet indiscrete question was neither a yes or no but rather a smile of the artist. Maybe my phantasies to her works that will be presented in a solo exhibition opening next Monday are way to concrete for the subtle art of Pohlmann.
The exhibition WASCHTAG leads us into a world of images that illustrate both processes of outer cleaning, as well as inner purification (maybe of a very dirty fantasy). The beautiful portraits of young women, oil on canvas or on paper, who act in various poses, sometimes with inward attention, sometimes in direct contact with the viewer, but always with great intensity. We encounter female characters, who, by being focused entirely on themselves – on their innermost being, reveal themselves to the viewer. Their authenticity gives them beauty inside as well as outside but also strength that arises from their personal confrontation with their inner self. See an exclusive preview of her unique work after the jump and find out more infos about the exhibition.