I chose this particular picture for the activity card simply because it shows some graffiti I came across which had been tagged with my initials.
I got my inspiration to do this whilst I was doing the activity about beautiful buildings. What really struck me was the way the architectural structures were (in some cases) absolutely riddled with graffiti. I found the juxtaposition of guerrilla street art with these buildings absolutely unbelievable, and what started off as me photographing a couple of images on the sides of buildings eventually turned into a fully-fledged scavenger hunt. It felt like everyone I spoke to about the art I had seen would send me somewhere else in the city in order to find my next prize. On my travels I even came across work by well-known street artists which I found pretty exciting.
I feel that the attitude towards graffiti here isn’t like it is at home. I think it is accepted here as an established art form whereas at home it has not yet managed to shake the stigma of being a form of mindless vandalism. Although it is still illegal here, there are in fact graffiti communities who get commissioned to paint the outside of buildings for all sorts of businesses and there is even a part of the city where street artists are allowed to work legally. Although there is still the kind of underwhelming graffiti which is nothing short of vandalism, as far as I am concerned it is hugely overshadowed by the works of art that are also on display.
Here’s some of the art that I came across:
This is a piece by the French artist Blek le Rat. He was basically the Banksy of the 80s. This is apparently his oldest remaining work of art which is why the authorities of Saxony have listed it as one of the state’s official monuments. It has been covered with perspex in order to protect it and unfortunately people have graffitied over the top of it so I have put a picture below which I found online in order for you to see what it is supposed to look like.
This is what the image actually looks like.
This is work by a local street artist. Found outside a French-style patisserie.
This is one example of where a group has been commissioned to decorate the facade of the building. The small white square on the bottom right hand side of the building is a list of the contributing artists.
This picture and the one below show the art that was commissioned in order to commemorate the peaceful protests that occurred here in 1989. These protests are important as they are understood to be a contributing factor to the fall of the Berlin Wall
The writing in this picture is a quote by Goethe and literally translates as “A glimpse inside a book and two into life; this is what gives our spirit the right form.”
This is a piece by a well-known German street-artist called Fatal.
This small mosaic is supposedly the work of the French artist Invader (although I had a check on his website where he posts all the places he has ‘invaded’ and this wasn’t listed so I am pretty sure it is a fake).
This is part of the area where street artists can work legally.
This is what I meant by ‘buildings riddled with graffiti’. This building is in use and people can go there to eat. All the other buildings on this parade look exactly the same as this.