Berlin bits and pieces 2013

A quick glance will show you very little but a wash of grit, mixed color and confusion.

I love the aesthetic of Berlin and in particular the East of Berlin. It reminds me of the areas I grew up. A bit like Newtown in Sydney, Australia in the late 80s and early 90s but on a much bigger scale. There is a heavy punk influence which is clearly displayed on the walls almost everywhere you look and in particular in the content of the messages that can be found.

The street art ranges from badly executed tags to repeated stencils to huge murals that cover the entire side of large buildings. What I love in particular is that there is almost always something new to be found in the details. There is always new work to be found that has sprung up since last visiting.

Once you get past the facade there is a good amount of political statement to be found, although I suspect this has been on the decline. There are numerous versions of anti Nazi symbols and feral punk themed messages. On the image side there is a plethora of hallucinogenic influenced pieces and animated characters to be found. I really enjoy that thought has been put into the placement of some of characters as they often appear to be peeking out from behind walls, bins and bushes. Sometimes they are even cleverly placed within other larger pieces and pop out at you once you spend a little time looking. Berlin street art really reward the persistent and investigative. Looking inside abandoned and broken buildings. Scouring alleys and murky industrial areas almost always reveals the most interesting work.

I think of the cities street and night life a lot like the street art. A quick glance will show you very little but a wash of grit, mixed color and confusion. If you spend some time and look into the details, you'll find a wonderful, thick and immersive street culture. Look long enough and you find almost anything that you could want.

Written by William Riever, 2013-12-28