The Berlin Walls
In 2005, Berlin was designated “City of Design” by the Unesco. I looked-up on-line as I was curious to see which criterion and characteristics were taken under consideration by the specialized agency to appoint the distinction. According to them, it is a blend of cultural landscape fueled by design (architecture, urban planning, monuments, public spaces, signage and information systems, typography) as well as design schools, design-driven creative industries and experience in hosting international events. Needless to say that uninhibited graffiti, vibrant street art and vandalism were not part of the list.
Yet, it is public art that symbolizes best Berlin’s raw creative energy. Some localities, particularly in the eastern half of the city, are submerged by ephemeral art and are revamped everyday. Wherever you go, you see bombed-out buildings, telephone booths and decade-old wooden doors. Independent stores & cafes facades, door ways and statues are cramped with intricate superpositions of colorful wheat-pasted posters and provocative stencils.
I spent three days pacing up and down the streets of Kreuzberg, Mitte and Friedrichshain and here are some of the many images I’ve taken during this brief but intense Berliner escapade. So Krank Ist Berlin…
The city has inspired many local artists and street writers (XOOOOX, Alias, Just, THC, Boxi, Emess, 7up) as well as renowned international maestros (Blu, JR, Os Gemeos, Roa, The London Police, among others). Today, Berlin’s many walls form the largest and most diverse collection of street art in Europe.
Check my flickr page for the full Berlin set.
Make sure to read Kriebel’s excellent article focusing on Berlin’s local urban artists.
For my bruder “Piti”. Words and Images by Charles le Brigand
All rights reserved. Une production de Brigand © 2011