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Street Art in Berlin

Berlin is a hub of creativity, artistry and a bohemian way of life that entices artists from all over the world to drop what they’re doing and try to make a living in Berlin.

Street art is no exception, in fact street art in Berlin is probably one of the most visible outlets for artists, both professional and amateur, to showcase their works, both personal and political, to the public on a grand scale.

Thierry Noir was one of the first people to rage against the machine by painting his cartoonish graffiti in Berlin and became world famous for it.  After the 70’s, a new wave of graffiti artists that Theirry Noir was a part of, dominated the city with genuine works of art rather than the spray painted slogans of repression that came before them.

UNESCO has named Berlin a City Of Design, but it’s interesting to know that this doesn’t make it legal. Officially, graffiti in Berlin is a crime but in unspoken terms, there are degrees of legal. This means the tagging and spraying that happens on a major scale on trains, at train stations and other public areas is against the law. However the graffiti artwork you see, whether it be sprayed, stencilled or stuck on, is another matter and the authorities are happy to turn a blind eye to this kind of graffiti, and this is what has made the Berlin streets what they are today.  That said, it is still illegal to spray, paste or stencil on someone elses property so it's a good idea to excercise some caution.  Most of the large scale works you will find around the city have been commissioned and you can see works by pretty much all of the prominant Berlin based, as well as international, artists.

To get a better look at some amazing pieces of work around the city you can wander the streets around Hackescher Markt - Haus Schwarzberg as well Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. These are some great starting points, but you can also take organised walking tours which take you a bit deeper into the world of Berlin’s street art scene, its history and you’ll get to see the stuff you may not have known was there when you first walked past.