Photo Essay: Street Art and Graffiti in Berlin

by Ekua on July 2, 2012 in captured on memory card,Germany,street art

Street art has deep roots in the city of Berlin. When it was divided in two, the wall in West Berlin was a blank canvas for the beliefs and thoughts of counterculture types and immigrants who were settling there. After the Berlin Wall fell, the street art scene spread to the east side as well. Now Berlin has become a street art and graffiti capital of the world and everywhere you look, wall space is claimed by tags, wheatpastes, stencil art, and gigantic murals. Here is some of street art I spotted in the neighborhoods of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg:

Street art in Berlin

Graffiti and stencil art on the outside wall of a cafe in Friedrichshain.

Street art in Berlin

On Niederbarnimstrasse in Friedrichshain, I came across this wall covered almost entirely with wheatpaste and stencil art.

Street art in Berlin

Street art in Berlin

Street art in Berlin

Street art in Berlin

Street art in Berlin

Zooming out of the graffiti wall on Niederbarnimstrasse.

Street art in Berlin

Across from the graffiti wall, these two artists were working on piece for a business.

Street art in Berlin

I did a double take at this 3D painting of bricks in Friedrichshain.

Street art in Berlin

Can you spot the the mural here? I found this on Warschauer Strasse in Friedrichshain.

Street art in Berlin

The theme of the city: “Berlin is poor, but sexy”

Street art in Berlin

This is the whole mural. It’s painted on the East Side Hotel at Mühlenstrasse, across the street from the East Side Gallery.

Street art in Berlin

A huge mural in Kreuzberg by the Italian artist, Blu.

Street art in Berlin

Another mural by Blu in Kreuzberg. This photo was taken from Oberbaumbrüke.

Street art in Berlin

I wandered into what looked like a construction site and came across this colorful mural in Kreuzberg.

Street art in Berlin

More art in a walkway that led to the construction site.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Naomi July 3, 2012 at 12:02 am

So, so, so inspiring!!

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Ekua July 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Yeah, I really enjoyed spotting stuff that was different from anything I’ve seen in the US or Latin America. It was especially cool to see large scale pieces!

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Dani July 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Fantastic! Berlin is one of the best cities for street art in all of Europe, I think.

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Ekua July 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I’m guessing it’s probably one of the biggest places for street art around the world too. It seems so ingrained in the culture, government sanctioned or otherwise.

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Stephanie - The Travel Chica July 4, 2012 at 6:25 am

I was in Berlin several years ago but didn’t have an eye for street art. Definitely want to go back. Great photos.

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Ekua July 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Thanks, Stephanie. The mural culture of SF got me interested in street art and now finding each culture’s take on it has become a big part of my travels! Berlin has some of the most fascinating stuff for sure.

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Fly Girl July 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Poor but sexy? I never heard that one before. Street art always gives a really interesting look into the character of a city and Berlin seems fascinating from this perspective.

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Ekua July 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Berlin has long been a poor city that’s been known to attract young, liberal, creative types from all over who are drawn to cheap rents and the atmosphere. As you say, street art can give a lot of insight into a culture and I think many of these pieces reflect that image!

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Margaux April 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

Hi ! Do you know who is the artist of “Berlin is poor but sexy” ? 🙂

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Ekua April 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I’m not sure! I read about it awhile ago, but I don’t remember the artist’s name anymore.

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