Notable Berlin Street Art

(including the East Side Gallery)

It’s no secret that I love Berlin. In fact I’ve previously waxed lyrical about the quirky hotels and bizarre sights on offer. But more than that, I love the gritty streets of Berlin, the street art-filled urban dystopias which make Berlin at times seem another planet. In this photo-essay I expose some of the best Berlin street art.

If you can identify any of the artists I am unable to, or if I have mis-identified an artist, please let me know in the comments.

Multiple Faces, Hackescher Markt, Berlin

Artwork by Otto Schade from Chile, Hackescher Markt

 

Art by John Reaktor, Hackescher Markt, Berlin

John Reaktor, Hackescher Markt

 

Scientist with Microscope, Plotbot Ken, Hackescher Markt, Berlin

One of my favourite images, oh how I do love this. Scientist with Microscope, by Plotbot Ken, in Hackescher Markt.. bonus points if anyone can identify the scientist in the comments.

 

Pink Girl by El Bocho, Hackescher Martk, Berlin

Pink girl, by El Bocho, Hackescher Markt

 

Pink Eagle, Artist? Hackescher Markt, Berlin

Pink Eagle, in Hackescher Markt. Does anybody know the artist?

 

Street Art Alleyway, Hackescher Markt, Berlin

Find this little alleyway, off Rosenthaler Strasse in Hackescher Markt, and you’ll find a lot of great street art within. At the end of the alley is a set of grimy stairs leading up to a sweet art bookstore

 

How Long is Now- statement or question? On the Tacheles building, Oranienburgerstrasse in Central Berlin. The building has previously served as a department store and headquarters of the SS.

How Long is Now- statement or question? On the Tacheles building, Oranienburgerstrasse in Mitte. The building has previously served as a department store and headquarters of the SS.

 

A photo I took of a bike against a wall somewhere in East Berlin

A photo I took of a bike against a wall somewhere in East Berlin

 

On top of a grey apartment block in Kreuzberg, a large painted sign proclaims "Bitte Lebn" or "Please Live"...

On top of a grey apartment block in Kreuzberg, a large painted sign proclaims “Bitte Lebn” or “Please Live”…

 

Just Above, Revaler Strasse 99, Friedrichshain, Berlin

On the corner of Warschauer Strasse and Revaler Strasse in Friedrichshain is an old bombed out railway yard with nightclubs and street art. This photo was taken from above in Warschauer Strasse- I think the mural may be by Ben Eine?

 

Ant Insects, by Alaniz, Friedrichshain, Berlin

Man overcome by insects, by Alaniz from Argentina. Friedrichshain, Berlin

 

Go Forth, Portrain of Fadi Saad, by Vhils. Friedrichshain, Berlin

A portrait of Fadi Saad, a neighborhood organiser and youth worker, by Vhils. Friedrichshain, Berlin

 

Cassiopeia Nightclub, Friedrichshain, Berlin

Artwork on the Cassiopeia Nightclub, Friedrichshain, Berlin

 

The Artists Tears, by James Cochrane, Friedrichshain, Berlin

The Artist’s Tears. James Cochrane is from Adelaide, Australia, and has to be one of the best street artists out there- his dot-style paintings in Berlin and London are stunning. This is in Friedrichshain.

 

Near the site of Hitler's bunker in central Berlin is this piece of the Berlin Wall, adorned with a painting of a famous photograph by Peter Liebing. Depicted is the East German soldier Conrad Schumann, who defected to the West by jumping over the barbed wire which preceded the construction of the wall. Berlin history

Near the site of Hitler’s bunker in central Berlin is this piece of the Berlin Wall, adorned with a painting of a famous photograph by Peter Liebing. Depicted is the East German soldier Conrad Schumann, who defected to the West by jumping over the barbed wire which preceded the construction of the wall. The image is an icon of 20th century Berlin history.

 

Street Art and Vines, Friedrichshain, Berlin

Friedrichshain, Berlin

 

Friedrichshain, Berlin.

Friedrichshain, Berlin.

 

Global Warming Hourglass, Kreuzberg, Berlin

The image on the left is the Global Warming Hourglass by BLU, and depicts a melting iceberg dripping water onto a city at the bottom. I am unsure of the provenance of the red mural on the right of this building. Kreuzberg.

 

These two incredible and iconic images by BLU in Kreuzberg are captured from across the river Spree. On the left "Handcuffs" represents the bonds of capitalist thinking- a man adjusts his tie, his wrists bound by a chain connecting his golden Rolex watches. The image on the right "East and West" shows two figures each trying to remove the mask of the other with one hand, the other hand making a symbol "E" or "W".

These two incredible and iconic images by BLU in Kreuzberg are captured from across the river Spree. On the left “Handcuffs” represents the bonds of capitalist thinking- a man adjusts his tie, his wrists bound by a chain connecting his golden Rolex watches. The image on the right “East and West” shows two figures each trying to remove the mask of the other with one hand, the other hand making a symbol “E” or “W”.

 

Pink Man by Blu in Kreuzberg. Another huge mural, depicting the identity loss associated with the fascist and communist social movements

Pink Man by Blu in Kreuzberg. Another huge mural, depicting the identity loss associated with the fascist and communist social movements.

 

Nature Morte (Hanging Dead Animals), by ROA, in Kreuzberg

Nature Morte (Hanging Dead Animals), by ROA, in Kreuzberg

 

Rounded Heads by Nomad, Kreuzberg, Berlin

Rounded Heads, by Nomad, in Kreuzberg

 

Astronaut Cosmonaut, by Victor Ash, Kreuzberg, Berlin

This famous (and huge!) stencil by Victor Ash of Paris adorns the side of a building in Kreuzberg. It’s called Astronaut Cosmonaut and apparently if you are there towards the end of the day the shadow of a flagpole from across the road is perfectly positioned in the astronaut’s hand.

 

Yellow Man, by Os Gemeos, Kreuzberg, Berlin

Yellow Man by the twins Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, in Kreuzberg, Berlin

 

Stencil of Marinus Van Der Lubbe, Kreuzberg, Berlin

Sometimes the smallest artworks can be the most interesting. I found this stencil of Marinus Van Der Lubbe near a squat in Kreuzberg. Van Der Lubbe was a communist activist who was convicted by the Nazis of setting fire to the Reichstag in 1933 and executed. There is some question as to whether he really did set fire to the building- in 2007 his conviction was quashed by a German court and he was pardoned.

 

"Yam Must Survive", Friedrichshain, Berlin

Yam is a beach bar on the edge of the Spree near the East Side Gallery in Friedrichshain. Like many cool, gritty features of Berlin it is under threat from increasing gentrification and development of the area. This sign proclaims “Yam must survive in Berlin city”. To the left with the pipe on top is a section of the Berlin Wall.

 

Wall art inside Yam Beach Bar, Berlin

Wall art inside Yam Beach Bar.

 

The East Side Gallery, Friedrichshain, Berlin

The East Side Gallery, Friedrichshain

 

The East Side Gallery contains conventional murals on the street facing side, while the side facing the river is covered with tags and graffiti. I'm standing in the death strip in this photo, behind me is Friedrichshain in the former GDR, while in front of me on the other side of the river is Kreuzberg in the former West Berlin.

The East Side Gallery contains conventional murals on the street facing side, while the side facing the river is covered with tags and graffiti. I’m standing in the death strip in this photo, behind me is Friedrichshain in the former GDR, while in front of me on the other side of the river is Kreuzberg in the former West Berlin.

 

"Politics is the continuation of war by other means", turning the famous statement of Clausewitz "War is the continuation of politics by other means" on its head. East Side Gallery,  Artists: Carsten Jost and Ulrike Steglich

“Politics is the continuation of war by other means”, turning the famous statement of Clausewitz “War is the continuation of politics by other means” on its head. East Side Gallery, Artists: Carsten Jost and Ulrike Steglich

 

Artwork by Jens Hübner and Andreas Kämper on the East Side Gallery

Artwork by Jens Hübner and Andreas Kämper on the East Side Gallery

 

Erich Fried Quote, Elisa Budzinsky Artwork, East Side Gallery, Berlin

A quote by Erich Fried “He who wants the world to remain as it is, doesn’t want it to remain at all”, artwork by Elisa Budzinsky on the East Side Gallery.

 

Dawn of Peace. Salvadore De Fazio, East Side Gallery, Berlin

Dawn of Peace by Salvadore De Fazio of the USA.

 

I love this image of a gateway through the Berlin Wall. On the other side you can see the River Spree and the former West Berlin

I love this image of a gateway through the Wall. On the other side you can see the River Spree and the former West Berlin.

 

Danke Andrej Sacharov, Dmitri Vrubel, East Side Gallery, Berlin

This work “Danke Andrej Sacharov”, by Dmitri Vrubel of Russia, depicts the Russian physicist and father of the Soviet nuclear arms program who was also an anti-Soviet dissident and human rights activist.

 

My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love, by Dimitri Vrubel, East Side Gallery, Berlin

Probably the most famous image on the East Side Gallery and also by Dimitri Vrubel. The painting is of a famous photograph showing the Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing the GDR leader Erich Honecker on the 30th anniversary of the GDR. The original image is almost as passionate. The caption reads “My God. Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love”

 

"Diagonale Lösung" by Michail Serebrjakow, East Side Gallery, Berlin

“The Diagonal Solution to Problems” by Michail Serebrjakow

 

East Side Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Andrej Smolak’s work on the East Side Gallery

 

East Side Hotel, Berlin

And finally, this mural on the side of the East Side Hotel, opposite the Berlin Wall, has to be one of the best in all Berlin.

 If you can identify any of the artists I am unable to, or if I have mis-identified an artist, or if you have any other suggestions for art worthy of inclusion then please let me know in the comments! In the meantime, if you enjoyed this collection, why not Subscribe to Confiscated Toothpaste. It’s FREE.     

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About Matt Edwards    

Matt is an Australian writer, photographer and scientist in the solar power industry. He likes peace and quiet, loud music, fireworks, travelling, campfires, surfing, guitars, starry nights, snowboarding, theatre, watermelon, dogs, skateboards, astronomy, come-to-bed eyes, snow and sunsets. He dislikes early mornings, angry people, loud trucks and buses, and the Australian Stock Exchange. See

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Comments

4 Thoughts on “Notable Berlin Street Art (including the East Side Gallery)” :: Leave yours →

  1. Nice photos! Is that ESG piece by Vrubel a recent photo? When I last walked by the ESG (a few months ago), it was plastered in some homophobic graffiti: http://travelsofadam.com/2013/09/graffiti-east-side-gallery/

    I live here so I’ll have to walk by again. I do hope they’ve cleaned it up as it seems in your photo!!

    • RationalMatthew on March 24, 2014 at 7:17 am said:

      Hey Adam thanks!

      No, unfortunately this particular photo I took about a year ago, before the painting was defaced. I do hope they managed to repair it.. if you cruise by sometime soon do let me know!

  2. Well, there is that one thing I love about any city: Street Art! Great photos!

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