Thursday, 31 July 2014

Berlin Street Art Tour:

One of my favourite things which seem to define a city like Berlin and make it indisputably “sexier” is the vibrant street art scene. Urban artists have a very distinct voice and their works are exactly what gives the city a unique character that would make a lasting impression on any visitor. In fact, one can go as far as to say that according to art critic Emilie Trice, Berlin is “the graffiti Mecca of the urbanart world.”
It is astonishing to think that graffiti is actually banned by law and considered a form of vandalism given the amount of art works one can encounter in the streets, but with around 5000 artists currently active in Berlin, the authorities seem to be fighting a losing battle. The good thing about the city is that travellers don’t need to try too hard to discover its art scene, simply because Berlin can only be described as an open air gallery. Perhaps the most obvious choice for a good start would be the East Side Gallery, already mentioned in my previous post “10 things you didn’t know about Berlin”, and showcasing a total number of 101 images painted by artists from all over the world. But truth be told, there are a lot more gems scattered throughout the districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain waiting to be discovered by those brave enough to venture off the beaten track. Keep your eyes peeled and you will without a doubt be rewarded with works by internationally acclaimed artists such as Banksy, Alice Pasquini, El Bocho, Jimmy C. or Guache.

1. Alice Pasquini:

Alicé, a muralist, illustrator and set designer from Rome, dedicated seven days to her newest project in Berlin Friedrichshain, located in close proximity to the East Side Gallery and Oberbaum Bridge. The artist committed 6 hours a day to the completion of her project, and the finished work showcases Alicé’s signature style through the use of warm colours, portraiture and watercolour illusion. 

2. El Bocho:

An artist whose name is already knows by the Street Art community in Berlin, El Bocho’s style is easy to recognise through his predominant use of paper cuts and “sticky paste”. The artist’s preference for cut-out artwork to traditional painting techniques raised a few questions within the community, and has been a constant topic of debate. Since street art is actually illegal in Berlin, paper cuts seem to be a clever way to avoid potential conflicts with the authorities.

3. Jimmy C.:

James Cochran, an Australian street artist now based in London, hit Berlin last year and left behind a series of surrealist paintings created in his signature ‘drip’ style, portraying people in relation to the urban environment. His works can be found predominantly in the districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, but also in Haus Schwarzenberg, by the entrance to the Anne Frank Zentrum.

4. Guache:

The Colombian artist has recently completed a few works in Berlin, abundant in vibrant colours and traditional Latin American motives.  About street art, he says: I paint on the street in order to liberate the image, so that it lives without owners or clients,without schedules nor deadlines, uncensored and without explicit formalism in aim or demand, nor should there be…”

The Travel Corner

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