Berlin’s Best Graffiti Sights
“Berlinermauer” by Noir at the German language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Berlin has a plethora of historic and awe-inspiring must-see sights like the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag, the TV Tower, and the Brandenburg Gate. But one thing that travelers and even locals shouldn’t miss–and what Berlin is also most famous for–are its insanely awesome graffiti pieces. The city’s graffiti scene is one of the best and the best-known in the world. For Berliners, graffiti has been the voice of the people, a way to express and call attention to issues that affect the seemingly “unseen” and “voiceless” members of society. This subversive art form is a way for artists and taggers to literally make their mark onto the world; and it has the power to shape ideas and even spark a revolution.
So while you’re in Berlin, make sure to check out the city’s colorful walls. And if you’re pressed for time, but want to ensure that you get your graffiti fix, Citystay Hostel recommends these top graffiti spots:
ARTIST: Dmitri Vrubel
LOCATION: East Side Gallery, Mühlenstrasse (Mill Street), Berlin
“Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F088809-0038, Berlin, East Side Gallery” by Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F088809-0038 / Thurn, Joachim F. / CC-BY-SA. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons
This is one of the most popular and most reproduced Berlin graffiti murals. It depicts Leonid Brezhnev, was the General Secretary of the Central Committee(CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and German politician Erich Honecker in a fraternal embrace. The graffiti piece is reproduction of the infamous 1979 photograph taken during the 30th anniversary celebration of the foundation of the German Republic.
TITLE: KREUZBERG COSMONAUT
ARTIST: VICTOR ASH
LOCATION: Marianne street corner Skalitzer Straße,
Photograph by Hans Veneman via Flickr Creative Commons
This famed mural was created by French street artist Victor Ash for the Backjumps Festival in 2007. It is also one of the largest stencil pieces in the world, as well as one of the city’s most recognizable graffiti pieces.
LOCATION: Oberbaumstraße, Kreuzberg, Berlin
Photograph by Dr. Case via Flickr Creative Commons
This surreal and highly-detailed masterpiece is by the Bologna-based artist Blu. His better-known mural Brothers, has been blacked out by the artist and his followers as a symbol of protest against the gentrification of Berlin. So try to catch this piece while you can!
TITLE: I HAVE TO GO TO PARIS
ARTIST: EL BOCHO
LOCATION: Dirksenstraße, Mitte, Berlin
Photograph by Steffi Reichert via Flickr Creative Commons
El Bocho is arguably one of the most prolific street artist to hit Berlin. His work can be spotted in nearly every district, though he primarily likes to leave his mark in Friedrichshain and Mitte. His pieces–ranging from the sadistic “Little Lucy” to surveillance cameras–are also extremely diverse, although all are equally interesting, quirky, a little bit dark, funny, and tongue-in-cheek conversation starters. Want to know more? Check out this great interview on Berlin Art Parasites.
TITLE: WRINKLES OF THE CITY
LOCATION/S: Invalidenstrasse (pictured), the postal train station, the bunker of the Boros collection, the old building authority on Leipziger Strasse, the Bar Tausend, the sohohouse and the water tower on the East Side Gallery.
Photograph by Thomas Leuthard via Flickr Creative Commons
World-renowned and commercially known street artist JR has been making waves. He’s known for not only generating stunningly beautiful street art, but also by making sure that he’s able to spread awareness about global concerns and creating global collaborative art pieces. Find out more by watching his TED talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/jr_s_ted_prize_wish_use_art_to_turn_the_world_inside_out