photo: Studio Various & Gould
Unfortunately, not a day goes by without coming across a number of new articles, comments and memes about Trump. Quite rightly the shock about the new president and the new congress is still great. Thus, not only celebrities and big firms speak openly against the attacks on human dignity. At the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st 2017, thousands of people protested on the streets for the protection of women’s and human rights. Not only in Washington, but also worldwide in various cities and countries millions of people expressed their outrage about current politics, but moreover their readiness to protect each other.
photo: Stefan Schilling
The upcoming exhibition TACHELES 27 at the Klassenfeind Gallery in Mitte depicts a story of a monumental building that’s slowly but surely falling into decrepitude now, but used to be a vibrant center for creatives just a few years ago.
photo: Schall & Schnabel
Perfect, care-free, enviable: these used to be the three adjectives that would come up in my mind the moment I would take a look at the shiny profiles of my acquaintances on social media – one cannot really call them friends, right? There would have been plenty occasions in the past, where I would start wondering what my life lacks and is not as “cool” as theirs.
Taking insecurity to a brand new level I would even catch myself feeling sad, if my new post had not received the expected number of likes; choosing my new profile picture would demand a full-fledged strategy, that would put even the most acute Brexit negotiators to shame. However, I would still sense that this is not enough. There would always be someone flaunting various parts of their life they would be most proud of ranging from abs and new pieces of clothing to luxurious holidays – I still refuse to believe the existence of hashtags, such as #moneyisnottheproblem – and partying in the most talked-about clubs.
Whenever a cool graffiti turns up over night inside the subway stations of the Berliner U-Bahn or even on their trains the artwork has a relatively short life because the BVG will probably remove it soon. Of course they see it as an act of vandalism on their property, even though they might recognize some of the graffitis as quite artistic, it’s still a disruption of their daily business that they need to remove. It’s a shame really, in some cases especially, because these pieces will catch the attention of so many passengers and will distract them from their daily routine of commuting, even make them think about the messages incorporated into the graffitis, just like art should: make people think about it. In the end it’s also just a nice change from all the bill boards.
photo: Jon Ander
Graffitis are a poetic creation of the streets and with this in mind I invite you to take a closer look at your surroundings; maybe there’s a hidden message waiting to be discovered or an image to be admired.
Although subjective, when we think of graffiti and street art, we often come to think of abstractness, disorganization, aesthetics, movement, freedom and creativity and whether to make us laugh or to incite us to riot, the colorful scribbles, which tend to be innovative and original, are the guiding thread that leads to self-expression while stimulating body and mind. However, it’s not only about the aesthetics since their most important feature is actually connected with the reactions they get; in other words, it has to do with provocation. And Art needs provocation, often associated with originality, to be consequently educational – Art does not rest exclusively on moralizing concepts, but it is above all a container of criticism and reflection. And Berlin, as a magnet drawing artists from all over the world, is the perfect example to illustrate the concept of “provocative Art”.
We already enjoyed the illustrated version of infamous Kottbusser Tor by Nicola Napoli a lot. But now there is a new illustration out there by Vidam, created for Muschi Kreuzberg in the style of a game carpet for children. Apparently it is actually going to be available to order soon on their website.
As child-friendly as the carpet might appear at first sight, the devil is in the detail: It’s probably a nightmare come true for every Prenzlauer Berg mom to see their kid play between syringes and dog poop, but hey, that’s just the reality of Kottbusser Tor…
We’ve already mentioned Ashkan Sahihi as the author of the captivating and personal portrait series of women in Berlin. Born in 1963 in Teheran, the photographer grew up in Germany, and today he lives in Berlin, shooting pictures for publications like “Zeit Magazine”, “New Yorker”, and “Vogue”.
His most recent project, however, references to the time back in 1987 when the author, still pursuing his artistic identity, moved to New York. There, as he recalls in the foreword of the new photo book, he met other young men, like him searching for their own ways of fulfillment, forming a community that encouraged all forms of self-exploration.
Whatever your opinion on the murals at Art Park Tegel might be, I bet their sight will not leave you indifferent, which is actually the true purpose of art; the ability to convey feelings through opening the door to fruitful dialogue, to peaceful exchange of opinions, to communication.
Their name fits Berlin’s quality of being a playground for grown-ups. Here you can try out all your crazy ideas and it doesn’t matter if you succeed or fail, it’s all about living it out. For the street art crew TOY this is true in the most literal sense.
Just last week we chuckled about their live intervention with an S-Bahn train that received some flower pots glued to their windows. And this week we received yet another, even more spectacular one: They filled up a wagon of the U-Bahn with Autumn leaves and played around in the fun mess. But how do you get dozens of huge garbage bags full of leaves into the train without being noticed? Their latest intervention video shows how it was done…
Last year we already introduced you to the work of Berlin-based photographer Yuto Yamada who captures abandoned places of the city for his ongoing series “Berlin Raw“. This year he is back with new photos of Berlins forgotten, dirty corners, but for his new exhibition he juxtaposes them with the futuristic and glossy Tokyo full of illuminated billboards and neons. The two very contradicting perspectives of two very different cities is a strong contrast but also something very personal to the artist as both cities represent a part of his life, the past and the present, even though aesthetically you could think it’s about the future and the past. Enjoy a preview of these fascinating places in Berlin and Tokyo below.