"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

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The Kiss (pixelated)

Everyone knows Tanya Chalkin’s famous photograph, The Kiss. Someone in Paris has taken it upon themselves to create the mosaic-pixel version of this near Etienne-Marcel.


This is not a Space Invader, although it bears some of his hallmarks. For one, the women have been updated with Video Game attire.


I don’t know who’s behind this piece of art, but if you do, please let me know in the comments below!

Liberté, Egalité, Beyoncé

Found this on the streets of the Marais, just in time for this.

Say it with me now, class:

Je Beyonces
Tu Beyonces
Il/Elle Beyonce
Nous Beyonceons
Vous Beyoncez
Ils/Elles Beyoncent

WOMAN, MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT?

 

Laser 3.14’s graffiti-poetry hits Amsterdam again

Sorry for not blogging for almost 3 weeks! It’s been crazy around here. I went from Berlin, to Regensburg, to Amsterdam, and now I’m in Paris, where I will be situated for the next little while … ah, the life of resourceful nomad. Expect more photojaculations about all of these adventures!

Anyway, you, my little munchkins, might remember the last few times I have blogged about Laser 3.14, the graff-poet of Amsterdam. Well, I let him know that I would be in Amsterdam for a week, and he sent me all the locations of his most recent bombings. The work, as always, is thrilling and moving. Dude speaks exactly what is on my mind and in my heart, and he has recently had a few gallery exhibitions and openings that have been met with lots of press and accolades. Dude is going places.

This one I found on my own. Someone had wrapped up the tarp & knotted it through itself (see the hole right before the 3?). I had to unravel it just to photograph it. Almost get yelled at the home owner. Totally worth it.


Found this one also by mistake. It’s part of an older batch, hence its poor state. It says “blind idealism destroys reason.”


Found this by accident. It’s one of my favourites.


Another from his older series. “Don’t just murmur your insanity.”


Again, an older one that I just stumbled upon. It says “Travis the streets are swept.” You’ll see in some of these pieces I’m about to blog that he likes to use the names of his friends in his tags….


“Oh you’ll know when it’s too late.”
When I found this one in the pouring rain, that red bike was blocking the piece. I had to pick that fucking tank up and move it out of the way. It was obvious that bike hadn’t been moved in some time because of the cobwebs on it. I’ve seen some pics lately of others photographing this piece and the bike is where I left it.
YOU’RE ALL WELCOME!!!!


“This panorama is for you.”
What a panorama…. cough.


“Mind control is everything, everything is mind control…” upside down.
NEAR…


FAR!


“Things don’t work that way Timmy.”
Remember what I said about the names?


“Nobody believes the media… except when it’s in their own interest.”


“Reap the tame heart, and all.”
NEAR…


FAR!


This was on the other side of the previous one! Two tags on one corner= my idea of christmas.


As I’ve noted in past blogs, Laser 3.14 almost exclusively only tags construction boards and tarps. My guess is that he does it so that no one’s property is damaged by his tags. Those tarps and construction boards are only up temporarily. Also, they seem to provide an awfully potent frame for his poetry. The boards act like excellent frames, and the tarps give his words a kind of ethereal beauty. Lately I find myself extremely disappointed when I pass a construction site and cannot find his work.


FUCK YEAH.


And this one was on the other side of the previous. It’s like a poetry corner!


“Wrong underdog, try the one next door.”


Again with the friends’ names :)


This has to be some inside joke, I don’t get it. Who’s egg man?


This one is my absolute favourite and really speaks to me. “Too much love for after the fact.”


Yes, yes, GOOD GAWD YES.


BACK OFF, GET YOUR OWN IDEALS!


So nice, he tagged it twice.


“The Goggle age questions your ideals.”

As you’ve seen from this huge haul of his work, Laser 3.14 is interested in online privacy, the theatre of the media, capitalist ideals, the state of Europe, personal agency, and of course, as always, matters of the heart. This is what good street art is, people. TAKE NOTES.

Check out my Laser 3.14 category for more of his work that I’ve photographed.

Check me out in the latest issue of AufBau Magazine (if you can read German)

aufbau

 AufBau is a monthly Swiss-German Jewish magazine that has been around for many decades. In the 1930s, regular contributors included Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt! Their latest issue, the August/September issue, is all about Canada with a focus on Toronto’s arts and cultural scene. Knowing full well that I’m not part of “the tribe,” they still asked me to contribute two articles to the issue! The first one is about Lorne Michaels and SNL’s continued relevance in Canada, and the second details the arts and cultural festivities that occur in Toronto each year.

Now, the issue is only in German, so if you can read German, click here or click on the above image! I’m on page 17 and later on page 23. I’ve been told that the English version might appear soon on their website… if so, I will link to that as it happens.

This is the first time I’ve ever been translated into another language. I feel pretty Ausgezeichnet, as the Germans might say.

Enjoy!

Berlin light, colour, and stone

 

Otto Piene. RIP.

David and I went to the vernissage at the Neue Nationalgalerie and were blown away. It was thrilling. What a loss to the art world.

Nil Frahm playing on his custom made Una Corda piano at the Michelberger Hotel courtyard.

And then this happened, and we all collectively lost our shit.

Potsdam.

This guy is on his cell phone?

Tom and his doggie Rocky.

This is called Brandenburger Tor as well… smaller but just as swell.

SOMEONE BREAK THE GLASS AND LET ME IN. This was on Schoenhauser Allee.

This is my pornography.

This is the Bendlerblock courtyard where Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was assassinated by the Gestapo after his plot to kill Hitler failed on July 20, 1944.

The 70th anniversary just passed.

You did not bear the shame.
You resisted.
You bestowed the eternally vigilant symbol of change
by sacrificing your impassioned lives for freedom, justice and honor.

The spot where he was shot.

The Berliner Dom. It had just rained, so the platz was deserted. I sat on the steps of the church, pulled out my journal, and wrote. I had the entire Dom to myself… and, it seemed, the entire city.

 

The platz in front of the university.

This is the spot where the 1933 Nazi student book-burning took place. The plaque talks of all the kinds of writers whose works are lost, and then there’s a Heinrich Heine quote from 1820, which says, “This is only prologue: where they burn books, in the end they will also burn people.”

I photographed this 8 years ago too.

But what never seems to develop properly in photography is the empty library. Next to this plaque, in the ground, there is a window. When you look down through it, you see underground, empty bookshelf after empty bookshelf.

 

This church was bombed out during WWII and after the war they decided not to rebuilt it as a memento to the horrors of war. I photographed this 8 years ago when it didn’t have all that cubism shit all over it.

Berlin-henge.

#C215 in Berlin


I’m pretty ashamed. I have wandered up and down Skaltizer Strasse near Kottbusser Tor probably a bajillion times, but I only recently found these two C215 pieces there. What am I, blind?

Jeeeeez.

And not too far from the last C215 piece I found…

They were only a few doors down from each other too.

Get it together Estima.

Check out my C215 category for more of his work that I’ve photographed around the world!

Mr Fahrenheit’s dead celebrities

The last time I blogged about Mr Fahrenheit was in London, which is the only city I’ve ever found his work in, so I’m assuming he’s a Londoner. This past week, I found some of his stencils in the Friedrichschain area of Berlin, so looks like the man got himself a rail pass:)


Whenever I think of John Lennon, I also think of JFK and Indira Gandhi, who were also assassinated.
The lesson here, munchkins, is if you don’t want your children to be assassinated, don’t name them after an airport.

WOCKA WOCKA WOCKA.

Alice Pasquini in Berlin

Now I know what you’re thinking… Alice? Who the Fuck is Alice?

(see what I did there?)

(I’ll get my coat)

(omg parentheses)

I’ve blogged Alice’s work before when I first found it in London, and now she has hit up Berlin. You cannot walk 5 metres along Skatlizer Strasse toward the Oberbaumbruecke without running into 20 Alice pieces!


This one was actually ON the Oberbaumbruecke!


Ah yes, this mirrors my life as of late. Oh dontcha just love those balmy Berlin nights…
Ahem… but enough about me… back to Alice!

The Red Angel of Körtestraße

“Der rote Engel” as they say. I found her one day, walking along Körtestraße in Kreuzberg, a street I had walked along many times before, but I had somehow missed her. Because I was looking down.

To find angels,  you must always look heavenward.


She has the eyes of an angel. Look at the glistening glimmer.


I had never come across xi-Design before but I am now a fan.

One day in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

In my life, I have visited two concentration camps: Auschwitz (which I decided at the time not to post my pictures) and Dachau (which I decided not to blog about at all). I have always believed, however, that if you are in the area, you really should make an effort to go to them. So, being stationed in Berlin for the time being, I knew I had to go to Sachsenhausen.

I don’t want to say very much in this post. Jeff and I spent six hours at the camp, and walked out of there drained. So I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.

This I will speak about, because this is such rivetting history, and new things are being discovered all the time at these places. In 2003, a construction worker at the Sachsenhausen visitors centre was taking down a partition wall when he heard a crinkle and a smash within the wall. Inside the wall, he found a bottle hanging from a wire, with a note inside. As he had smashed through the wall, he had smashed the bottle, so the note was now accessible. It had been written and left there in 1944 by two Sachsenhausen inmates! They had probably been able to leave this message in a bottle because, in all likelihood, they had been assigned to build the wall. The note was written by two guys who were both political prisoners and had been there for years, even before the war started. One guy, Anton Engermann, was from Cologne and lived on Severinstrasse! I know that street! He wrote  that he had been there since 1937 and said “When will I see my love in Frechen, Cologne once more? But my spirit is unbroken.  Things must get better soon.”

The great thing about this story is both men survived the camp and the war. Engermann lived to the ripe old age of 82, but died in 1983, well before this note was found. The other man, Tadeusz Witkowski, supposedly emigrated to Canada, but no one knows of his whereabouts or if he’s still living, they haven’t tracked him down. If he’s still alive (unlikely but possible), it would be cool to ask him questions about how and why the men left this note.


As a final note, if any of you have seen the Oscar-winning film The Counterfeiters, it takes place at Sachsenhausen. I saw the film earlier this year and had forgotten this is where it takes place. Upon visiting Sachsenhausen, and being able to see some of the forged British pound notes they created, it really brought the whole thing together. Highly recommend you watch the film.

Mannschaft

20140714-125653-46613789.jpg

Berlin is so hungover.

What a great night, and what a great time to be in Germany. Last night the Brandenburg Gate exploded in cheers, fireworks, chants, spotlights, and an outpouring of joy. The night sky burned brighter than the day.

How often does a gal get to be in Germany when Germany wins the World Cup? An epic experience indeed. Last night I was a witness to history.

Berlin is a place that, beyond all reason and dark history, resurrects one’s soul.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the sun is shining, and the city awaits this little Canadian lass.

RAE, #Roa, and #JR in Berlin!

I haven’t photographed a RAE since Brooklyn, I don’t think… no wait, I think I found one or two in London. But YAY! RAE was here in Berlin last week and I photographed his stuff mere days after he had erected it. GO ME!

In all honesty, I wasn’t looking for a RAE, we were just going for a stroll one night through Friedrichschain and found it by accident. Those are the best kinds of finds :)


Philip’s impressed. He insisted we snap this pic. Who am I to say no?


This ROA bird was in the RAW area of Berlin (near Revalerstrasse), and it looks really old, like his old style. I don’t know, but the fact that it’s still around is pretty sweet.

Maybe it was done hastily, and hence the kind of unrefined style?

Remember a few posts ago when I went hunting for the remnants of JR’s “Wrinkles of the City” from last year across Berlin? Here’s one that I missed, it’s at Warschauerstrasse, looking pretty worse for wear.

Here’s what it’s supposed to look like.


I’m just so impressed these pieces have withstood the elements and other graff artists!

Check out my ROA category and my JR category for more of their works that I’ve photographed around the world!

I made the front page of WordPress!

wordpress

WordPress likes to promote some of the hottest and most interesting blogs on their server, and my lil blog The Spadina Monologues was chosen as their first pick for Street Art!! This is a big deal, because not only was I featured on WordPress’s official blog, but they also sent out a newsletter to EVERY SINGLE WORDPRESS USER featuring my photographs.

I was wondering why my stats were going a big crazy.

So hello to all of my new followers and readers today! You have excellent taste.

This blog is almost exclusively about street art and graffiti, with a tinge of event-coverage and travel-stories, so if you liked what WordPress had to say about me, you’ll enjoy scrolling through the rest of this blog.

Let us celebrate this wondrous event by adding “Wind” to “Hair.”

wind in my hair on Make A Gif

Shameless?

Yes.

Unwashed hair?

Also yes.

Fanks WordPress and fanks to you, my munchkins, for your support :)

#ElBocho Berlin Baby

I’ve been finding so many El Bocho’s lately, the man is gonna think I’m following him around Berlin.

Which I am.

Shhh, don’t tell.


Hometown feeeeeelings

Miss my plattenbau


I had to.

Check out my El Bocho category for more of his work that I’ve photographed around Germany!

#48hNK: scenes from the 48 Stunden Neukölln Arts Fest in Berlin

The 48 hour Neukölln arts fest is very much like Nuit Blanche in Toronto, except it lasts for 48 hours, and it’s not in the freezing cold. Berlin has always been known for its arts scene, and for welcoming artists from all across Europe into their embrace, so this was a perfect way to induct me into the wonderful German hipster dudebro artistic experience.

Obvi, I adored it.

I got drunk on it.

I ate that shit up.

First we found these artists who gave us a tutorial on how to make street art stencils. Of course, I plopped down to make a masterpiece. *cough*

x-acto, baby.

 

“Courage is…”

This was a guerilla poetry space, where thousands of newspaper headlines were chopped up for us, and we got to fashion poetry… like one would fashion an anonymous ransom note! Or like refrigerator magnet poetry. Or like found poetry.

And so on.


This was ours. “I think to be seduced is the right solution.”


This was someone elses. The wall behind it said “Courage is…” so this poem finishes the sentence with “…unlikely to result in vaginal dryness.”

I’ll get my coat.


Courage is… “What was going on in the East German sky without us.”


Chris, there’s a giant frog with a cell phone growing out of your back.


Then this tenor emerged from his balcony and sang Nessun Dorma to all of us down below. It was the crowning moment of the fest, for me.

There were 1000 origami cranes. There was a pillow fort where we affixed our adult dreams to. There were shopping carts woven into a circle. There were art-convenience-stores. There were angel-birds. There was sunshine. There was FIFA. There was dancing and music.

There was Berlin.

**Unless bearing my watermark, all pics are copyright Moneim Eltohami.

#Banksy’s original Flower Chucker in Berlin

Kunsthaus Tacheles was a centre for artists, vandals, graffitists and other culture-jammers to gather in an old 1907 arcade that was partially demolished by the DDR, located near Oranienburger Strasse. It was officially closed down a couple years ago, and now it is completely blocked off and surrounded by fences, walls, hedges, and wire. There’s no way in. But on some of the walls that are still exposed, artists continue to tag.

Anyway, the other night I’m watching the object of my affection Benedict Cumberbitch … er.. batch.. Cumberbatch in the film The Fifth Estate, and I notice they filmed an entire section at Kunsthaus Tacheles before it closed down. They filmed inside and out. During the scene where they’re leaving, I noticed something that nearly made me spit out my tea.

An original, famous piece by Banksy. His most notorious work: the Flower Chucker, which looks like this.

And here’s the scene here:

banksy fifth estate

HOW DID I MISS THIS WHEN I WAS WALKING BY?!

So I went back to try and find a way in, or maybe a ledge to perch from, or maybe just a gap in the wall so I could photograph it.

I went to every business surrounding the Kunsthaus and asked everyone if they had access to the fenced-off area, just so I could take a photo. No one could help.

Finally, I found a crack in the tarped-over fence big enough to shove my hand through. Camera firmly gripped in hand, I tried to snap as many pics as I could at such an awkward angle.

 

BUT I STILL NOW I HAVE SEEN WITH MY OWN EYES THE FLOWER CHUCKER!

Check out my Banksy category for more of his work that I’ve photographed around the world!

Long-legged Berliners

Germans, in general, are super tall (bless ‘em). Everyone towers around me because I’m a bite-size pipsqueak. So I’m wondering if local artist Mij K Do is trying to comment on the height of Berliners with his super-long-legged subjects.

Ratting on #Roa

In my last Roa post, I spoke of how hard I had tried to find more Roa‘s around Berlin and was coming up empty every time. But then a buddy over at andBerlin.com let me know that the Roa rats on Schoenhauser Allee were still there, even though I had struggled in vain for an hour to find them previously. I tried a second time, and bam. Instant Roa-gratification.

Aw yeah, that’s the stuff.

Look at the detail from each spraycan stroke. I can’t even. I am out of evens.

Check out my Roa category for more of his work that I’ve photographed around the world!

#ElBocho: Berlin ist sexy und das ist gut so…

Since posting my last piece on El Bocho, I have found so much more of his stuff! It’s so great to live in a city where not only is the artwork on every corner, but you can become familiar with the artists and grow to appreciate their body of work.


He’s gone and I’m still here.


Who rips apart an El Bocho?!! Sacrilege.

Check out my El Bocho category for more of his work that I’ve photographed across Germany!

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