Berlin’s Vibrant Street Art
Berlin’s vibrant street art scene covers it all – from gra iti to caricature – encompassing both the idealistic and the rude creating a raw, creative an energy that defines the city and its people. RONALD BERA explains
In one of the few less noisy streets in downtown Berlin, elderly folk sit sipping from their cups in an open air café as a huge domineering image admirably basked in the summer afternoon sun on a high wall behind them.
The depiction is that of a thread falling from the sky as mice, seemingly in a hurry, scurried to get to the top. So impressive was the masterwork, that passersby intuitively stopped and took time to look at it, and then decided to look at it some more over an espresso. While across the road on a low wall, a similar image evoked quite the opposite response: a smirk, and a hastened pace.
Berlin’s street art scene, from graffiti and caricature, runs the gamut from the superbly genteel to the discourteously rude. Ingenious artworks thrive alongside obscene ones in this multi-cultural city that became a magnet for creatives in the years after the wall fell. At every turn and corner, exudes a raw, creative energy that has increasingly come to define it.
“It all started after the wall came down…and well a part of it remained. And artists from all over Europe came and started to paint. I don’t think they were officially invited really,” said Petra Sorge dos Santos, a cultural affairs expert. “That’s how I think it started.”
Others say it became popular while the wall was still standing. That it was the West Berlin side that was a canvas for artists, while the East Berlin side remained blank. And