As one of the newest museums in the city and with a focus on such a young and developing genre the team of Urban Nation, Berlin’s first permanent museum for contemporary urban art and street art, have a lot of explaining and educating to do. While urban and street art is still fighting for recognition in the otherwise quite elitist world of contemporary art the wide audience of the art enthusiasts and art-curious have long embraced it – especially because this particular genre of art is so open and accessible on various levels.
With their artist in residence program, Urban Nation is continuing on that path of making art, the artist and the artistic progress accessible to everyone who is interested – no matter if they are an art collector or curious grandmother. Embracing the fact that the house the museum was constructed in used to be a regular residential building, part of it is still occupied by apartments that function as living studios for the artists participating in the residencies. Right now the first batch of artists has finished their time and open their apartments for the public to see the results of their work. What you step into is not just a regular apartment or artist studio, they are like little art installations almost as if you were to step into the mind of the artist. It’s a great way to understand more about the creation process and the personal aspects of the works. If you are lucky that the artists are there at the moment of your visit you will also get to chat with them about their motivations, techniques and artistic visions.
The current artists in residence can be visited until the end of October including Daniel van Nes (NL), Dot Dot Dot (NOR), Herakut (GER), Li-Hill (USA), Louis Masai (UK), Ludo (FR), Nespoon (PL), Onur & Wes21 (CHE), Quintessenz (GER) and Snik (UK).
Dot Dot Dot
Mia Florentine Weiss
Future generations of participants of the program will be curated by an art advisory board including art experts, journalists, and public figures. The artists will not only get to live and work in the house but also receive mentorship by Urban Nation director and founder Yasha Young.
The main exhibition of Urban Nation has also changed for the occasion of Berlin Art Week 2018 and is currently showing a retrospective of the past 5 years of activities in Berlin including works by famed artists such as Shepard Fairey, Damien Hirst, Vhils and Miss Van. Alongside the large-scale works, you will also get to see exhibits showcasing the tools and materials used in creating the stunning artworks.