You don’t need to walk into a gallery in Berlin to see some of the best art this city has to offer. From murals and stencils to graffiti and paste-ups, Berlin is brimming with striking street art. Just stroll around Mitte, Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain to see works from popular artists. While some iconic works (like the Kreuzberg Spaceman and Blu’s murals) are now Berlin landmarks, the street art scene is constantly evolving, largely thanks to the short life span of paste-ups.
I joined an Alternative City Tour to check out the underground culture of Berlin (which I would highly recommend, especially if you don’t know the who’s who of the Berlin art scene).
One of the most popular street artists in Berlin is XOOOOX. His work usually draws inspiration from fashion, but he puts a social commentary spin. Look for his tag stencilled next to all his work.
El Bocho is another artist whose work can be spotted all over the city. He does paste-ups of Little Lucy trying to find different ways to kill (or at least seriously hurt) her cat. Little Lucy is a kids’ TV show character that in fact loves her cat. Therefore, this series should be sadistic, but it’s actually quite comical.
Blu is another famous graffiti artist who has been active since 1999. He has worked all over the world including, of course, Berlin. Created in 2009, the two pieces below can be spotted at the junction of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain.
Anther must-see piece in the neighbourhood of Kreuzberg is the Spaceman (although, given it’s sheer size, it would be quite difficult to miss it). It was created by Victor Ash and is thought to be the biggest stencil art in the world.
Haus Schwarzenberg is probably one of the coolest courtyards in Berlin, if not Europe. This street-art laden space is home to a comic book store, the Anne Frank Center and Cafe Cinema among others.
And of course, the most amazing piece of public art in Berlin is the epic East Side Gallery. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, this 1.3 km stretch was kept intact and artists from all over the world worked on its east side in 1990.
Who is your favourite street artist in Berlin or what’s your favourite piece of work? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! xo