You guys know I’m a huge flea market nut. I’ve blogged about the stuff I’ve found before. But the flea markets I used to patron in Germany when I lived there (specifically Cologne and Berlin) all carried lots of Nazi junk, which for a Canadian, is not something you ever get used to seeing. In this piece, I talk about the disturbing nature of these pieces, and also how they have affected me.
I feel like our morbid interests aren’t inherently good or bad. It’s what we do with those interests that’s important … I think learning from this stuff is a positive thing.
Click here or on the above photo to read it.
I took all of the photographs featured in the piece. The one of the framed monochrome photographs on a mantle is actually in my bedroom. Those couples just look so happy!
Fanks for reading, munchkins.
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.
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 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.
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?
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!
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.
Now I know what you’re thinking… Alice? Who the Fuck is Alice?
(see what I did there?)
(I’ll get my coat)
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!
“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.
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.
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!
Which I am.
Shhh, don’t tell.
Miss my plattenbau
I had to.
Check out my El Bocho category for more of his work that I’ve photographed around Germany!
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*
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.
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.
And here’s the scene here:
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!
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.
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!
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!
FINALLY SOME ATTENTION!
WAR IS COMING!
I TELL YOU, IT’S COMING!
Don’t mind me…
A street art photographer-blogger like me always dreams of photographing the work of Os Gêmeos, and even though I have travelled the world over, I have never been fortunate enough to find the Brazillian brothers’ works! UNTIL NOW!
Os Gêmeos BABY!
This Moonman, located near Kottbusser Tor, is by Ash.
The Pink Man, near Oberbaumbrucke, is by BLU.
These two massive murals on Schlesische strasse are also by BLU.
I’m pretty sure this is by Miss Van. It was near the East Side Gallery.
Is that my beloved Vhils? Why yes it is!
My beloved C215 and his signature kitty-cat.
Is is a peace sign, a high-five, or a fuck you?
What we do know is that it’s by Case Maclaim
The last time I photographed Miss Me was in Montreal! Had no idea she’d been here!
It’s my beloved Jimmy C aka James Cochran!
Jimmy’s heart (obstructed by some idiot’s fat head).
And Jimmy’s lovely tribute to Anne Frank.
And my beloved Stik! (Yes they’re all my beloved…. WHAT OF IT?)
More Stik behind bars.
And Stik behind trees!
Ain’t that the fricken truth.
Bending Berlin Baby! And it’s a picture of Bender from Futurama! Space Invader has a version of this in Brussels, which I photographed last year, check it out! This is by street artist ambush and you should check out his website!
That’s good advice, you guys.
Well if it isn’t my old Cologne-pal Decycle. I photographed this exact same piece over in that forsaken city, but glad to see he’s taking up a much more civilized and cosmopolitain area.
Jessica Rabbit. “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”
Well, it doesn’t say much, but it’s to-the-point and I salute it for it.
I found this near Hermanstrasse in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin.
Last year, JR hit up Berlin for his project “The Wrinkles of the City” where he pasted his famous oversized portraits on some iconic architectural specimens found throughout the historic city. But unlike his Inside Out Project, these were portraits of the elderly, or at least, “more seasoned” people, in an effort to show the beauty that comes with age. I wasn’t able to come to Berlin last year, but I’m here now! Considering that street art usually has a very short shelf life, it was thrilling to find many of his works still visible and in great condition one full year later!
This was on the side of Ostbahnhof, across the street from the East Side Gallery.
This was also across the street from the East Side Gallery, but no one seemed to notice it. People were so consumed with taking assinine selfies next to the Berlin Wall, they didn’t bother to look around.
This beautiful find of Salvador Dali was up on Gustav Meyer Allee. I had to hop a fence or two to get these shots.
See the hand? If you have ever taken a photograph with JR, as I have, you know that this is his hand-thingie-sign-whatchamacallit. I got it wrong when I took my picture with him in London. Anyway, when I found this huge piece, as you can see, it was covered by construction.
This is what it’s supposed to look like when all of this scaffolding isn’t obstructing it… bastards.
This piece used to take up the entire side of this building. I guess it didn’t withstand the elements very well.
This was on the side of Soho House, on a huge East Berlin boulevard that seemed oppressive and deserted. But I love how the fernsehturm (tv tower) in the background gives the wheatpaste a dimension and depth… and also GRAVITAS (i think that word is kind of silly, but it fits in this instance)…. gravitas.
This was underneath a bridge, near Friedrichstraße station. This one survived the elements pretty well! Yay, bridge-protection!
Unfortunately, the rest of the JR pieces around the city were untraceable to me… I searched for many of them but came up empty handed. Either they’re gone from the elements, or I had the wrong location information. But I’m happy these lovely pieces have survived a year!
Check out my JR category and my Inside Out Project category for more of his works that I’ve photographed around the world!
Ah, my true Belgian love, Roa. I had read on the blogs that he had made an appearance in Berlin a few years ago, so I set out to find his works. This is the only one that remains… a huge mural near Kottbusser Tor. For those of you who don’t know Roa (and really, if you don’t know Roa, please take a few mins to check out my Roa category for a huge selection of his works that I’ve photographed around the world), his work explores the circle of life amongst animals. He likes to portray animals either in a state of feeding, a state of death, or a state of decay, but it’s never gross or obscene, it’s always a tribute to the beautiful circle of life. In addition, unlike some other street artists who rely on stencils or posters or tricks (nothing wrong with those by the way, I adore stencils and posters!), all of Roa’s pieces are done with just a spray can and a helluva lot of talent.
As you can see the animals are dead, and have been hung up to dry, much like they are in shop windows in Chinatown. So it might be safe to assume Roa is showing how these animals didn’t die of natural causes, they were killed for their meat. This is less circle-of-life, and more the gritty, cruel world of the meat industry.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful piece, and considering all of Roa’s other works in Berlin are gone (or at least, I have struggled in vain to find the rest and could not), this is definitely something that should be appreciated whilst it’s still there.
I found this photograph at the Topographie Des Terrors open-air museum in Berlin. It elicited a “holy shit” aloud from me.
I’m not 100% sure what the message is of this photo. Is it Nazi propaganda? Was it simply a day-in-the-life shot taken by a street photographer? Or, was it a photograph of resistance? I can see elements of all three in this shot, so I really don’t have the answer. It reminds me a great deal of that infamous 2011 Vancouver riots kiss-shot. And look at that blanket they’re lying on– looks like a concentration camp prison jacket.
In any case, my “holy shit” still stands.
Holy shit, you guys.
First, when Napoleon took the city, he marched his army through the Brandenburger Tor.
Then when the Nazis took power, they marched their army through the Brandenburger Tor.
It lay in near-ruins after the war, and then later was closed off from the public when it was in the killzone between the Berlin Wall.
Now the public is invited. All the time.
Critical Mass is CRITICAL.
A shining beacon and city called home.
I first discovered El Bocho in Cologne last year and his work is all over Berlin! Score!
Together we are more than you.
Love in concrete
Love in concrete facades…
Now to get him to do my face!!
I didn’t include this photo in my Berlin Wall post because it deserves its own dedicated post. I found this Banksy on the East Side Gallery, and it’s an old piece of his: a monkey wearing a sandwich board that reads, “Laugh now but one day we’ll be in charge.”
Someone has added a stencil mocking him that says “Shut the fuck up.”
I didn’t have the time to post this when I was still in Copenhagen. I was walking along and I came across this Banksy piece from his parachuting-rat series. If you know Banksy like I do, you know that he hasn’t done one of these for YEARS, so this piece is extremely old and a rare find.
But how did I know it was a real Banksy and not some imitation?
Because it’s behind plexiglass.