All posts tagged: Berlin

Berlin’s OKSE 126 Brings His CMYK DOTS Campaign to Walls in 103 Cities

Berlin’s OKSE 126 Brings His CMYK DOTS Campaign to Walls in 103 Cities

Wading and wandering through the late autumn sunlight dappling the graffiti and street art near Alexanderplatz in Berlin, we noticed periodic dotting of the wall above the chaotic visual fray at eye level.

CMYK Dots. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The four dots are a clear, crisp distillation of color that every graphic designer since the print age is well familiar with: CMYK. Expressed in 3-D sculpture dots with a variety of techniques and glued to the wall above us, we were reminded foften during our walk that all colors are a combination of these four.

CMYK Dots. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A one-person mission by Berlin graffiti writer and street artist OKSE 126, the CMYK Dots campaign has traveled across many German and European cities and actually has a map for you to track them down. In addition to prodigious dots on the street, he’s started a line of clothing and art products and has shown his work in galleries like Berlin’s Urban Spree and this month at Hamburg’s Urban Shit Gallery “URBAN ART EDITION 2021” group show. The street art project, which OKSE 126 refers to as a modern technique of pointillism, has exceeded his goals, totaling 1,113 dots, 104 cities, and 16 countries.

CMYK Dots collaboration with Nat At Art. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CMYK Dots. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CMYK Dots. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 11.14.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 11.14.21

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Welcome to BSA Images of the Week! We’re thrilled to see you – you look marvelous!

The blustery cold snap outside today follows the mercurial mashup of winds, rains, thunder, and hail that shook our streets and darkened our skies yesterday – denting some cars, pummelling leaves downward. Ah fall; it feels like you are a couch and someone is taking out your stuffing.

The art of the street is indicative of the surreality of our times – a compression of days that also stretch like pumpkin taffy, wrapping around street lamps and fresh new Christmas light displays in Brooklyn. Everything, it would appear, is a dreamland of crisis; the economy, the environment, the bond crisis, the supply chain crisis, growing inflation, an impending food crisis, our faltering belief in institutions, our increasing distrust of each other, the police, the government, corporations, our currency, the medical profession, the church, and certainly our banks, the stock market, and Wall Street – these all define our times. Thankfully we have each other, friends.

Thank God for street art – the tea leaves of our time. Here’s a jolly mix-up of recent work found on the streets of two of our favorite cities – New York and Berlin.

Our interview with the street today includes Chris Jarosz, David Flores, Early Riser NYC, El Toro 215, Kiez Mie, Niko, ONI, Praxis VGZ, Rabea Senftenberg, RAMBO, Sara Lynne Leo, T.B.O.N.S., and Tianoo the Cat.

Unidentified artist in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Chris Jarosz. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Niko in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dan Flores for Goldman Global Arts- Houston/Bowery Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tribute to RAMBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)
RAMBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tribute to RAMBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sara Lynne-Leo (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rabea Senftenber tribute to David Bowie for Urban Nation Museum in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ONI in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ONI in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Praxis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kiez Mie in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
El Toro 215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
El Toro 215 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Early Riser NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tianooo The Cat in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
T.B.O.N.S. in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. LES, NYC. November 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 10.31.21

BSA Images Of The Week: 10.31.21

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Happy Halloween and welcome to BSA Images of the Week!

People have been in the Halloween spirit here in Berlin – and we keep seeing new pieces which may or may not be related to the holiday, but remind us of it anyway. Here’s a short collection of new stuff we discovered, including fresh pieces from Jaime Paul Scanlon AKA JPS and Nafir, who were both in town and hitting the streets with new collections of works.

Stay Safe and have fun!

Our interview with the street today includes JPS, Nafir, and a few anonymous pieces.

Oh Jesus, the artists’ life is so perilous, a huge cross to bear. JPS. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A thrilling and detailed stencil in miniature – the subtlety in the application produces very lifelike qualities. JPS. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JPS. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JPS. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A stunning and horrifying car crash scene – in miniature. JPS. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JPS. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JPS. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Nafir. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Artist Nafir poses with his brand new piece on the reverse of an Iranian carpet. Urban Nation Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Berlin. October 2021. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Berlin. October 30th. 4:00 am. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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“Artists At Work” Reveals a Vast Survey at UN’s Career Retrospective of Martha Cooper

“Artists At Work” Reveals a Vast Survey at UN’s Career Retrospective of Martha Cooper

50+ years of taking photos of artists at work means you have thousands of images of graffiti writers straddling trains, street artists leaning off ladders, muralists hovering 20 stories above the street in cherry pickers. One of 11 sections comprising “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”, our Artists at Work area has 400 printed images from around the world, floor to ceiling, and across a half dozen decades.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Martha at the section of the exhibition ARTISTS AT WORK. (photo © Nika Kramer for Urban Nation Berlin)

Not only can people find their graff and street art heroes on these walls as seen through Martha’s eyes, we have also created a database searchable iPad of 1300 more images of Artists of Work that have never been seen before. Just enter a country name, or artist’s name, or even a Street Art festival name, and you’ll get a whole lot of eye candy, artists, and tools of the trade.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Martha at the section of the exhibition ARTISTS AT WORK. With artist Paola Delfin above and John Fekner below. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Martha at the section of the exhibition ARTISTS AT WORK. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Martha at the section of the exhibition ARTISTS AT WORK. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Various & Gould Tackle Racism and Colonialism in Berlin with “Monumental Shadows”

Various & Gould Tackle Racism and Colonialism in Berlin with “Monumental Shadows”

In their ongoing quest for creating public works that meaningfully impact society and provoke examination, Various & Gould bravely trespass the silent agreements and disagree.

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 1. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

During their recent multi-week installation in Berlin, the street art activist duo rips at the roots of Western Colonialism by messing with the permanence of statue materials and decades of history and its retelling.

The results are colorful and sometimes bitter, usually illuminating.

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 1. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

By targeting the 6 meters (19.6 foot) statue of the first German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck they created a paper-cast of the man and “took it symbolically off the pedestal under the eyes of dozens of spectators,” they say.

The de-mythologizing work brings the man and his history down to the level of the everyday person, and through of series of performances and discussions over a 5 week period from August through October, the street artists and their collaborators hope to crack open some of the conspiracies that were wide open for everyone to read about when white guys split up Africa like so many spoils.

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 1. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

“For ‘Monumental Shadows’,” V&G tell us, “a series of seven artistic paper impressions of monuments in Europe is planned.” This particular installment is set “against the historical background of the Berlin ‘Congo Conference’ (1884-85),” which regulated the colonization of trade in Africa by fourteen countries, effectively partitioning the continent in a formalizing of theft and imposition of power. Aside from that, it was great.

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 1. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

Using colorful papier-mache techniques of wrapping the sculpture and bringing the pieces to the ground for performers to interact with and formal discussion panels to happen, Various and Gould intend to recall the false narratives and address the underlying debris of social and structural racism in German society specifically, western society generally.

“Our concern is to break the power of the white narrative on colonialism by proposing a change of perspective,” they say, and their accounts of responses by passersby range from supportive to corrosive; from outright verbal attacks on dark-skinned members of the crew to Boomers stopping by to say that all of this topic was essentially passe and not necessary anymore. “We fought colonialism already in 1968!” said one woman as her husband shouted profanities at the couple.

Peace, man.

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 1. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 1. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

In a story similar to those of American confederate statues coming down, there also were a fair number of people who stopped by the art project to protest the disrespect to the legacy of the statue and their personal ownership of historical events.

“Two black members of our team were still finishing some last bits of work on the scaffolding while the rest of the team was preparing the lunch break down on the ground,” they say. “Suddenly a woman (white, German, in her seventies) came by and started to shout up into the scaffolding, addressing our two team members: ‘I am outraged! This is my history.’”

“One of our team in the scaffolding answered instantly: ‘This is also our history.’”

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 2. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

This is not the first time that Various and Gould have created large-scale installations involving public monuments and the repositioning of historical perspectives – See our 2017 article “Marx and Engels Statues Re-Skinned & Re-Located” for example.

Perhaps because of the increasing tensions today in Europe and the US and elsewhere due to voracious crony capitalism and corruption creating a fast gulf of opportunity – and increased anxieties due to the coronavirus, V&G say they were a bit more soured than usually by the vitriol directed at them and their art project – including the unusual multiple requests by police to show permits. There were other subtleties of course.

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 2. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 2. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

“We noticed in many conversations with outraged citizens, that they would behave far more respectfully towards a white, cis male team member, than for example towards a female and/or person of color,” says Various.

“In general many passers-by kept bothering our team members in a number of ways,” offers Gould. “Very frequently people trivialized the German colonialism and Bismarck’s role in it.”

The conference of Berlin, as illustrated in “Illustrierte Zeitung”, public commons

And for the black members of the team, the experience was also intense at times.

Billy Fowo, who worked as part of the team on the scaffolding and on the paper-casting is part of Colonial Neighbours / SAVVY Contemporary, posted this on his Instagram @karl_fowo at the end of the second week:

“Though very personal, I think the presence of people like me who don’t look ”German” to their eyes, in this process, made the pill even more bitter to swallow. But what do the words ‘my history’’ constantly sang as a chorus by this second group really mean? Bismarck & Co in organizing the 1884-85 Berlin conference – didn’t they unfortunately/ unconsciously make us ALL part of ”that history!” Of course, this is not a question! If it were one then the answer is obviously YES! We are ALL part of ”that history”. We ALL build histories! We are today more than ever in dire times, and it is vital that in rewriting and writing the pages of our histories, we completely destroy the narrative of the single story and start including multiple perspectives.”

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 2. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

Thus the power of monuments, and art in the public sphere. Various & Gould again do the hard work of helping us examine those who we revere, and the messages we integrate into our institutions and our daily life. Equitable society needs these questioners and questions about the ‘monumental shadows” cast over others.

“We have to deal with people who feel entitled to exclude other people from participation, from conversation, from civil rights, from society, from history,” they say.

Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 2. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 2. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 3. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 3. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 3. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 3. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Week 3. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Daniela Medina Poch and Juan Pablo Garcia Sossa.“Monumental Shadows”. The inscription reads: “Das Zentrum von Gestern, die Splitter von Heute” (The center of yesterday, the splinters of today) Week 3. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Performance. “Gospel of Wealth” by Thomias Radin, Natisa Exocee Kasongo, Jumoke Adeyanju, and Delawhere. September 12, 2021, Berlin. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Performance. “Gospel of Wealth” by Thomias Radin, Natisa Exocee Kasongo, Jumoke Adeyanju, and Delawhere. September 12, 2021, Berlin. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Performance. “Gospel of Wealth” by Thomias Radin, Natisa Exocee Kasongo, Jumoke Adeyanju, and Delawhere. September 12, 2021, Berlin. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Performance. “Gospel of Wealth” by Thomias Radin, Natisa Exocee Kasongo, Jumoke Adeyanju, and Delawhere. September 12, 2021, Berlin. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Performance. “Gospel of Wealth” by Thomias Radin, Natisa Exocee Kasongo, Jumoke Adeyanju, and Delawhere. September 12, 2021, Berlin. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Performance. “Gospel of Wealth” by Thomias Radin, Natisa Exocee Kasongo, Jumoke Adeyanju, and Delawhere. September 12, 2021, Berlin. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)
Various & Gould in collaboration with Colonial Neighbours. “Monumental Shadows”. Performance. Berlin, August 2021. (photo © Raisa M. Galofre Cortés)

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Honoring Bravery on International Women’s Day 2021 in Germany and Spain with Amnesty International, Urban Nation

Honoring Bravery on International Women’s Day 2021 in Germany and Spain with Amnesty International, Urban Nation

An outspoken opponent of police brutality and impunity and an articulate advocate for those persons made invisible in the increasing feudal city of Rio de Janeiro, Marielle Franco’s shooting brought tens of thousands to the street after her death at 38 in 2018.

Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Over the last few spring-like days in Berlin, her portrait rose slowly about the streets, reminding us that her moral courage continues to have an impact today on International Women’s Day. It’s only been a recognized holiday in this German city for a year, says Urban Nation museum director Jan Sauerwald. Franco’s visage is the first to occupy what has been officially identified as the museums’ ‘Brave Wall.’

Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)

“Realizing this political mural on the theme of women’s rights together with artist Katerina Voronina is a special moment for the URBAN NATION Museum program,” he says, “To present the first ‘Brave Wall’ in Berlin and Germany on this day in cooperation with Amnesty International puts the project in a fitting context.”

Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)

The artist was chosen by a panel made of an equal number of Urban Nation and Amnesty International participants, along with journalist Miriam Davoudvandi. The joint goal on International Women’s Day is clear.

“Women’s rights are human rights and therefore an important part of our human rights work. I am very pleased that the first ‘Brave Wall’ in Germany was designed by a woman, Katerina Voronina, and honors the impressive commitment of human rights defender Marielle Franco,” says Dr. Julia Duchrow, Deputy Secretary-General of Amnesty International in Germany, in a press release.

An illustrationist and motion designer, Katerina Voronina successfully evokes the resolute spirit of fighting for human rights in the portrait of Franco, “With the realization of this ‘Brave Wall’ I had the opportunity to bring a special and courageous woman into focus.” she says.

Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Katerina Voronina in collaboration with Urban Nation and Amnesty International “Brave Wall’ project to mark International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Meanwhile, in Spain, artist and muralist Marina Capdevila identifies an obvious question about saving only one day to pay tribute to women in this new piece.

“Today, we still are fighting and working nearly every day to be listened to, to be taken seriously,” she laments, reflecting on the sly kind of dismissiveness she feels about her art practice sometimes. “I’m tired of receiving 8 million emails with proposals that offer to ‘give visibility to women,’ ” she says.

“If we continue like this, will we also eventually only work one day a year?”

Until such a day, she’s loving life as a painter and savors the sisterhood that brings her support and opportunity. “I am fortunate to have wonderful women in my life who inspire me, help me, and above all, make me laugh.”

Marina Capdevila. “365 Dias Luchando” (photo courtesy of the artist)
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Urku Abstractly / One Wall Project / Urban Nation Berlin

Urku Abstractly / One Wall Project / Urban Nation Berlin

A fresh face at Urban Nation, the abstract muralist URKU has just completed the façade across the train tracks from the museum on Bulowstrasse.

Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Originally from Quito, Ecuador, Urku says he began his true immersion into graffiti and street art when he lived in Sydney, Australia and he hooked up with the Higher Ground crew. His first attempts were painting in abandoned places, he tells us, but the big scale walls really caught his attention.

Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)

Living in Berlin since 2015, Urku brought his girlfriend, Gamze Yalçın who is also an artist in Berlin, along for this installation on the busy thoroughfare full of noise and distractions.  He says his style has evolved more into abstraction today and he likes to think his art as a visual diary – one where he re-interprets his daily visual experiences into abstract compositions.

How did he feel elevated alongside the famous yellow trains of Berlin watching the burners fly by? “Perhaps it would have been very nice to have appreciated the scene while painting the wall with the trains running behind me,” he says, “but the fact is I had to paint all the time and to complete the project. But I was in awe that this was actually happening and seeing the trains with graffiti passing by was very cool.”

Our special thanks to BSA contributor Nika Kramer for these images and to UN.

Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Urku. One Wall Project. Urban Nation Berlin. September 2020. (photo © Nika Kramer)
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Johannes Mundinger: Leave No One Behind / Dispatch From Isolation # 50

Johannes Mundinger: Leave No One Behind / Dispatch From Isolation # 50

#leavenoonebehind #savethem

That’s the message from Berlin based street artist Johannes Mundinger in his latest mural of melting slabs and abstraction and murky text. He tells us that he is thinking about the disparity of responses his government has toward immigrants when flying them in to harvest asparagus versus saving them from living in refugee camps in Lesbos.

Johannes Mundinger. “Leave No One Behind”. Urban Spree. Berlin, Germany. (photo courtesy of the artist)

“While borders are closed due to the lock down the German government invited around 40.000 foreign workers to fly in and harvest German asparagus,” he says. “This decision was taken within days.”

Meanwhile, he tells, “it took almost two months to discuss inviting 50 children from the refugee camp Moria on the Greek Island.”

Johannes Mundinger. “Leave No One Behind”. Urban Spree. Berlin, Germany. (photo courtesy of the artist)

He says his new 700 x 1200 cm acrylic mural at Urban Spree made him open up artistically, made him feel free after so long in quarantine. That city is trying to open up, as it were, to greater social and economic opportunity’s and to move beyond Covid. Only time will tell us all, and places like this are leading the way. This is good, we agree.

Mundinger just wants to make sure that we leave no one behind.

Johannes Mundinger. “Leave No One Behind”. Urban Spree. Berlin, Germany. (photo courtesy of the artist)


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The Ever-Changing Happy Chaos of Graffiti in the Bathroom

The Ever-Changing Happy Chaos of Graffiti in the Bathroom

The Egyptians did it. The Greeks did it. The Romans did it. Your favorite dive bar has it. The punk club CBGBs was famous for it, so is Urban Spree in Berlin. It’s worldwide, ancient and contemporary. Crude, rude, vulgar, vapid, poetic, gestural, artistic, meandering, succinct.

Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’re talking of course of the practice of writing graffiti in the bathroom. Few know that the museum Urban Nation actively encourages the furtive aesthetic expressions of visitors. Here is a survey of the ephemeral graffiti actions caught in progress.

Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bathroom graffiti. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Katz on Parade in Berlin

Katz on Parade in Berlin

Yes, you are right.

Cats are not particularly hard-hitting as a topic, but you must admit they are ubiquitous right now. So why wouldn’t they be prowling around the streets as well? God knows there are enough rats. You would think they would make a calendar of these. Wait, they have.

Liz Art Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images of the Week 02.23.20 – Berlin Special

BSA Images of the Week 02.23.20 – Berlin Special

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Welcome to BSA Images of the Week!

People came together at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to remember the victims of a racist attack in Hanau this week, vowing to stem the tide of right-wing movements in Germany and elsewhere. The more you see the remnants of the ugly past rearing their heads, the more determined we will all have to be to unify and celebrate our differences and similarities with equal enthusiasm.

Another promising sign of unity and community for us was the opening for the showcase of works donated by artists to benefit Daniel Weissbach aka DTAGNO aka COST88 in Berlin on Friday night. The musical/art-making performances were enervating and stirring – and there were so many people that the crowd on the sidewalk outnumbered the crowd in the gallery area. Please support – The online auction starts tonight and is refreshed with a new collection of art pieces donated by the old skool and new in a hybrid of genres. Please check out www.getwelldaniel.de

We also saw this incredibly well designed and curated show called WALLS at Urban Spree – with powerhouse names in graffiti, street art, contemporary art, and even a couple of pieces of antiquity, all examining the implications and ramifications of figurative and literal walls. The essays in the small catalogue further explore. More on this show later here but please go see it if you can.

One big find this week was this amazing collaboration of pieces on a wall with OS Gemeos and various other dignitaries atop an art supply store in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Hope you enjoy the show here from our Director of Photography, Jaime Rojo.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring 1Up Crew, Berlinsky, Black Land, Daze, ISE.THR, Kevle, Marina Zumi, Mira, Mode2, Os Gemeos, Shine, TFB, The Birds, VLK, WENU, and Zabou.

Os Gemeos, 1UP Crew, ISE.THR, WENU, The Birds The Birds. Detail. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Os Gemeos, 1UP Crew, ISE.THR, WENU, The Birds The Birds. Detail. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Os Gemeos, 1UP Crew, ISE.THR, WENU, The Birds The Birds. Detail. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Os Gemeos, 1UP Crew, ISE.THR, WENU, The Birds The Birds. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mira. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
TFB – VLK. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Marina Zumi. Urban Spree. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
BERLINSKY. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Detail. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
SHINE. Urban Spree. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kevle. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Zabou. Urban Spree. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mode2 collaboration with Daze. Urban Spree. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Black Land. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
We were told that there was a fox living in the gardens right outside of our hotel…we never saw her but we found one in the bathrooms at Urban Spree. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
We love this piece but can’t completely read it. Help, please. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Here’s the spirit in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A selection of artists that we don’t recognize in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artists. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Berlin Dispatch: Dave The Chimp and His Human Beans

Berlin Dispatch: Dave The Chimp and His Human Beans

Dave the Chimp is not really a chimp. And he’s not really Berlinian. Like all good comedians, he’s channeling exasperation into something more palatable: Humor. 

Dave The Chimp. Berlin, February 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A loveable and able debater, his carrot colored human bean is often discovered strolling through the streets and alleys of Berlin. A natural, easy and happy jaunt, his character is quick with an affable lecture, mini tirade, or bright insight. Of course, its open to your interpretation

Dave The Chimp. Berlin, February 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Contrarian enough to not want to be called a Street Artist, the UK born Mr. Chimp takes his initial inspirations from his 1980s-90s skateboard culture immersion and he’s parlayed his illustrative style into work with fanzines, comics, brands, and art curation.  An omnivore for the experiences of life, he’d love you to unplug from your electronic devices and plug into to your city, and relish the world around you.

This week in Berlin we keep seeing Dave’s human beans popping in the neighborhood of Kreuzberg, so we collected a few to share them with you.

Dave The Chimp. (The Pemex tag is probably a side-bust, not a collab. Could be the Mexican graff writer of Mexican petroleum brand, hard to say) Berlin, February 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Dave The Chimp may be endorsing the Kurdish-Syriac People’s Protection Units – Or somebody could have connected his bean with the YPG star symbol, which appears on many wall around the city. Berlin, February 2020. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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