photos: Google Street View.
Berlin, much like many of its soul-searching inhabitants, is a creation always in progress, never quite complete. In fact, sometimes it’s quite hard to keep up with all the newest urban developments, so much so that even Google didn’t manage to update all of the Street View services to the present day state yet. We’ve taken screenshots of the most surprising sights – featuring the nostalgic memories of White Trash Fast Food and the Beate Uhse Erotic Museum – read on to see them and travel back to the not so distant noughties!
Berlin has an international reputation for being a paradise for artists of any kind. During the last 30 years, our beloved city has seen an incredible big amount of large scale art installations, constructed not only in exhibition spaces, but also in public spaces, like squares or streets.
We are crazy about artworks, especially if they are emotionally touching, impressive, contemplative, and why not, also appealing to our eyes. We prepared a list of the most remarkable and unforgettable art installations which have been made in Berlin in the last decades. Which one is your favourite?
After having left a mark in 2013 with his eye-catching street art pastings “Wrinkles of the City” all over Berlin, the world-wide famous French artist JR has reappeared in Berlin, with a new inspiring installation.
In order to celebrate Germany’s Reunification Day on the 3rd of October, JR recreated a representative scene to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the celebration of freedom. The installation is a photo collage set on the west side of the Brandenburg Gate, whose visual impact is remarkable, given its more than 25 meters high. The strength of the work of art is given by its composition: a picture from the Reunification Day representing people standing together on the top of the Wall has been built in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
photo: Chloé Desnoyers
What I like most when I go to a restaurant is to find someone truly passionate about what he does: a pastry chef meticulously preparing his macarons and giving them a perfectly smooth shape, a wine shop owner talking about wines as if he were talking about his lovers or a chef telling you how he chose his potatoes for cooking French fries that are crispy outside and just a little soft inside. I’d like to share some tips with you about authentic French restaurants, bakeries, crêperies, cheese and wine shops, and also present you French artists living in Berlin.
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.
Black is the new Blu, photo: Dario-Jacopo Lagana’ / CC
Last night the giant street art mural near Schlesisches Tor got painted over in pitch black. There are various speculations behind who did it and for which reasons. What I found most plausible was a statement found in a Polysingularity article, claiming that it was the italian artist Blu who commissioned the cancelation of his own artwork.
“(…)the artists decided to paint them all black, so that nobody can take advantage of the original work… A “fuck you” gesture towards the city, towards the real estate company, but most of all – to all the people who love this artwork and everything that it’s come to represent. The argument of the people who are doing that is that Berlin is not the same anymore, that the real estate company will just use the artwork to sell apartments more expensive, that a new statement needs to be made at this new moment of time… In a way, they are doing exactly what the artwork says: “reclaim your city”.”
The rest of the article goes on about how pessimistic the destruction of the artwork is. That it is not the right message the city needs right now in this turbulent time of turbo-capitalism & neoliberalism, remodelling Berlin into a Lego-Gotham. Even if I can relate to the arguments, in regards to the artwork, I don’t agree 100%. I share my thoughts on the repainting, along with some videos showing the artist at work, after the jump.
UPDATE (March 12, 2016): BLU has done it again. In a protest against the city’s plans to “secure” street art to be displayed in a museum he painted over numerous of his works from the past 20 or more years in Bologna, Italy. Read more about this here.
JR at Gustav-Meyer-Allee
It’s been over a year now that the amazing and huge pastings of French streetartist JR started to pop-up all over the city of Berlin. The oversized photos covering the walls of several buildings in Mitte, Wedding, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg were part of his series Wrinkles of the City that he had already done in other cities such as LA, Shanghai and Havana. On April 17, 2013 his Berlin works were also celebrated with an exhibition at Galerie Henrik Springmann. The idea behind the project is a very charming and simple one: He took portraits of elderly citizens and pasted these onto the walls of their cities melting their own personal history reflected in their wrinkles with that of the city they grew up in.
It’s a beautiful series and I loved discovering all the different artworks all over the city and capturing them on my Instagram channel. Some of them were very present and you walked by them many times, others were more hidden. The last one I only found recently about a year after the exhibition. What I noticed lately was that more and more of the pastings have been disappearing, faded by the weather, ripped off, covered up, or their walls have been torn down. It’s sad to see them go, but that’s also part of their life as art in public. Every exhibition ends some time. Today less than half of the 13 pieces are still there. As I really enjoyed them I thought it would be nice to compile all my Instagrams and photos together in one post as a little memento to the wrinkles of Berlin so at least here on the blog they can exist forever. Enjoy!